"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

 FAQs Coping with A-Fib: Spouse Support

FAQs A-Fib afib“What can I do for my husband when he has an Atrial Fibrillation episode? How can I be supportive?”

First, determine if this episode is typical. If you both know from experience that this A-Fib attack will pass, you can help by getting him to sit or lay down and relax as much as possible. Maybe he needs to be reassured—remind him that this isn’t life threatening. That may help to keep you both calm and to get you through it. (I know how hard it is to “relax” when your heart feels like it’s going to jump out of your chest and is totally out of control.)

You might suggest he try one or more of these tips shared by other A-Fib patients:

•  Putting cold compresses or ice on the back of one’s neck.
•  Laying down and trying to relax in a darkened room.
•  Moderate exercise. For some, moderate exercise may help terminate an A-Fib attack. But for others, exercise may trigger or increase an A-Fib attack.
•  Deep breathing and holding one’s breathe while pressing down hard on the diaphragm.
•  A-Fib is sometimes triggered by body position—lying or leaning on the left side. Lying on one’s back and relaxing the chest may help terminate A-Fib episodes triggered by lying on the left side.
•  Putting one’s head between one’s legs and deep breathing.

If this episode is unusual and your spouse is in great discomfort with his heart beating very rapidly and irregularly, consider calling emergency services (dial 911 in the US.) or drive him to a hospital emergency room. The emergency room staff can use a defibrillator and medications to electrically shock him back into normal sinus rhythm. Or convert him back into sinus rhythm using drugs.

Learn more at: Why & How to Create Your ‘A-Fib Episode Action Plan’

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Monday, February 13, 2017

Back to FAQs: Coping with Your A-Fib

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