Doctors & patients are saying about 'A-Fib.com'...


"A-Fib.com is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD


Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...


"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"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

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


medical id card

Print a free Medical Alert I.D. Wallet Card

Do you carry an emergency medical alert I.D. card? When you have A-Fib and you’re taking a blood thinner or other medications, you may want to carry your medical information.

Free Online Medical ID Wallet Card Generator

MedIDs.com offers a free online generator tool for a fully customized medical info wallet card. Go to Free Printable Medical ID Cards, type in your information and print. (Note: none of your personal information is stored on their website.) Trim the paper and fold to fit your wallet or purse. Add a label, “In Case of Emergency” (ICE). A Few More Tips:

• Laminate your wallet card to prolong its use (an office supply store can help you).
• Why not print a card for each member of your family?
• If you also wear a medic alert bracelet, inscribe it with the message “See wallet card”.

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

Additional Ways to Carry Your Emergency Medical Alert ID Information

There are many new styles of Medic Alert IDs bracelets and necklace pendants using different materials like waterproof foam, leather and stainless steel. Don’t carry a wallet? Consider a Money clip with compartment to slide in your emergency contact info.

USB bracelet from Medical Alert Drives

USB bracelet from Medical Alert Drives

Or, if you carry a paper-based day planner or calendar, add the same information to your address book.

For much more information about what and how to carry your emergency medical information, see our A-Fib.com article, Your Portable Medical Information Kit. 

FAQs from Newly Diagnosed Patient

You are not alone. A-Fib.comFrequently Asked Questions by Newly Diagnosed Patients

Newly diagnosed Atrial Fibrillation patients have many questions about living with A-Fib. These are answers to the most frequently asked questions by patients and their families. (Click on the question to jump to the answer)

1.  Cause: Did I cause my Atrial Fibrillation? Am I responsible for getting A-Fib?”

2.  Severity: My doctor says I had an attack of Atrial Fibrillation. How much trouble am I in?”

Related Question:Is Atrial Fibrillation a prelude to a heart attack?”

Related Question: “Can I die from my Atrial Fibrillation? Is it life threatening?”

3.  Anomaly?Could my Atrial Fibrillation go away on its own? I don’t want to take any medication. Can I just wait and see?”

Related Question: “Is it possible to have a single Atrial Fibrillation attack and not have any others? I had a single episode of A-Fib and was successfully converted in the ER with meds.”

Related Question:How can I tell when I’m in A-Fib or just having something like indigestion?”

4.  Sex/Exercise:Should I cool my sex life? Can I exercise if I have Atrial Fibrillation? Should I exercise?”

5.  Driving:Can I drive my car if I have Atrial Fibrillation?”

6.  Nutrition:Is drinking coffee (tea, colas, other products with caffeine) going to make my Atrial Fibrillation worse or trigger an A-Fib attack?”

Related Question: “Is there a diet I could follow which would cure my Atrial Fibrillation?”

7.  Medical ID:Should I carry a wallet card or a medical ID? I have A-Fib and take Coumadin (warfarin). In case of an A-Fib emergency, what information should I include?”

8.  Coping:I have a lot of stress at work. Does this stress cause or trigger my Atrial Fibrillation?”

Related Question:I live in fear of my Atrial Fibrillation. I never know when I’m going to get an A-Fib attack or how long it will last. How do I deal with the anxiety?”

Related Question: “Is there anything I can do to get out of an Atrial Fibrillation episode? How do others deal with their episodes?”

9.  Specialist?Should I see a cardiologist for my Atrial Fibrillation and not just my primary care doctor? (He wants to prescribe medication.) Should I also see an A-Fib specialist?”

10.  Cure?Is Atrial Fibrillation curable? Or can you only treat or control it? Should I seek a cure?”

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Last updated: Monday, February 13, 2017
Return to Frequently Asked Questions

Your Personal A-Fib Medical Summary

Your Personal Medical Summary

Your Personal Medical Summary

Your Personal A-Fib Medical Summary

by Patti J. Ryan

Doctors appreciate knowledgeable, informed, and prepared patients. Each doctor will probably ask you much the same questions. For efficiency, prepare your ‘Personal A-Fib Medical Summary’ and include a copy with each packet of medical records you send to doctors.

In their special report Atrial Fibrillation: The Latest Management Strategies, Drs. Calkins and Berger suggest before your appointment that you prepare answers to the following questions about your Atrial Fibrillation.

•  What particular symptoms are bothering you?
•  When did you first begin to experience these symptoms?
•  Did you start taking any new vitamins, supplements, or prescription drugs before the onset of symptoms?
•  Are these symptoms paroxysmal (occasional or intermittent, beginning and stopping on their own), or persistent (present all the time, or lasting at least a week at a time continuously)?
•  On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being little of no bother and 5 being severely bothersome, how would you rate your symptoms?
•  Is there anything that appears to worsen your symptoms?
•  Is there anything that appears to lessen your symptoms?

Include other pertinent information such as names and contact information for doctors you see regularly and why. Type up your summary and attach a copy to each set of medical records you send to doctors. And add a copy to your three-ring binder.

Healthcare trend: ‘The Personal Health Record’ (PHR)

There is growing momentum to encourage consumers to take another health-related step: to maintain their own health records.

The idea behind the personal health record (PHR) is that the more consumers know about their health, the more control they will take over it and the healthier they will be. PHRs also encourage consumers to collect and share more health-related information with each of their providers. For this reason, healthcare providers, employers, insurers, vendors, and the federal government are all interested inpromotingPHRs.

What is a personal health record (PHR)?

Shoe pocket by Vital ID;  Your Portable Medical Information Kit

Shoe pocket by Vital ID

USB credit card-size by ER Card

Credit card-size USB by ER Card

A personal health record (PHR) is a means of storing, managing, and sharing your personal medical information. PHRs can be paper based or electronic. Electronic records can be kept on different media, including personal computers, “smart” cards, thumb drives, CDs, or web-based applications.

Of the two types, paper records may be easier to secure, but electronic records are more convenient.

If you are considering a PHR to maintain your health records, look for a list of resources and a ‘Quick Guide to Creating a PHR‘ from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), a national non-profit professional association.

Also see our article, Your Portable Medical Information Kit for a sampling of small, easy to store and carry USB devices for the print and digital versions of your PHR info.

References for this article

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Return to Dealing with A-Fib

Last updated: Monday, August 24, 2015

Your Portable Medical Information Kit

Your Portable Medical Information Kit

Medic Alert Bracelet by Emerg Alert

Medic Alert Bracelet by Emerg Alert

by Patti J. Ryan

When you have A-Fib and you’re taking a blood thinner or other medication, you may wonder if you should carry an emergency I.D. card or wear a medical bracelet.

According to a paramedic with 25 years of experience, emergency measures to stop bleeding such as compresses, tourniquets, etc. will be used whether or not the paramedic knows one has A-Fib and is taking a blood thinner like Coumadin.

But in general it’s a great help to emergency personnel if you carry one or more forms of emergency medical ID. The author of The Patient’s Guide to Heart Rhythm Problems, Dr. Todd Cohen calls it a “portable medical information kit”.

what should be in Your emergency medical information ‘Kit’

This is an excerpt from Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure, by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (page 20).

INFORMATION TO CARRY WITH YOU:

In his book, The Patient’s Guide to Heart Rhythm Problems, Dr. Todd Cohen recommends carrying a “portable medical information kit” with the following information:

1. Full name and date of birth

2. Medical conditions

3. Implantable devices and materials

4. Allergies

5. Medications (and dosages)

6. A copy of a recent ECG

7. Contact information (family, your doctor, and your Health Care Proxy agent)

Type up the information, print, and trim; add a copy of your most recent ECG, then fold to fit your wallet or purse. Add a label, “In Case of Emergency” (ICE).

Sample - MedIDs_com Wallet Card generator tool

MedIDs.com Free Generator

Print a free Medical Alert I.D. Wallet Card

To help you make your medical ID, we have two Free online sources for printing your own wallet cards.

MedIDs.com
GetICECard.com by ICE Gear

Use the online form (with nothing to install or download) to customize with your information. Then, print, trim, fold and add to your wallet or purse.

Tips to consider:

• Laminate your wallet card to prolong its use (an office supply store can help you).

• Why not print a card for each member of your family?

• If you choose a medic alert bracelet with limited space, add the message “See wallet card,” and carry a wallet card with all your medical details.

 Additional Ways to Carry Your Medical Information

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

There are many new styles of Medic Alert IDs bracelets and necklace pendants using different materials like waterproof foam, leather and stainless steel. Don’t carry a wallet? Consider a Money clip with compartment to slide in your emergency contact info.

Or, if you carry a paper-based day planner or calendar, add the same information to your address book.

Here are more ways to carry your medical contact information:

Cell phone with ICE contact

Cell phone with ICE contact

Cell phone: Emergency personnel often look at your cell phone contacts list for an ‘ICE’ contact, that is, an In Case of Emergency entry. It’s easy to do. Add a contact named ‘ICE’ and enter your emergency contact’s name, phone numbers, email address, etc. In the notes field, you can add your vital medical information.

For the jogger or walker: A shoe tag or pocket with your emergency contact info can be attached to your laces. For cyclists and others who wear head gear, a Medical ID sticker can be attached to your helment.

Shoe pocket by Vital ID

Shoe pocket by Vital ID

Helmet sticker by Vital ID

Helmet sticker by Vital ID

High tech solutions: Flash Drives are one high tech solution to carry all your medical information. The specially labeled USB flash drive has a large storage capacity which means you can carry much more information than the conventional medical ID bracelet. Variations include bracelets, keychain fobs and pendants.

USB bracelet from Medical Alert Drives

USB bracelet from Medical Alert Drives

USB key from Stat Alert

USB key from Stat Alert

USB credit card-size by ER Card

Credit card-size USB by ER Card

QR code tag by Dynatag

QR code tag by Dynatag

The one product that caught my eye is the credit card-sized USB for your wallet. As seen on the daytime show, The Doctors, the tiny, slim USB bends out of the credit card frame and is inserted into your USB port. From there you add whatever documents you want. (Why not create a medical record page for each member of the family?) See The Doctors video clip: http://youtu.be/yt34KwEtrw8

Another new type of medic identification alert is QR code-based medical alert stickers. The QR code is added to a wallet card, pendant or keychain fob. To access the information, a smartphone scans the QR code then links to a web service with the individual’s emergency information.

Remember to Update Your ‘Kit’

Whichever methods you use to carry your emergency medical information, don’t forget to review and update the contents regularly especially when you change doctors, start (or stop) medications or have a medical procedure. Knowing you have up-to-date medical information gives you a little bit more peace of mind.


Patti J Ryan head shot

Patti J. Ryan

Patti J. Ryan of A-Fib, Inc., supports all aspects of A-Fib.com and often monitors Steve Ryan’s new articles—ever watchful of too much medical jargon and when necessary translates the terminology into everyday language. She is also publisher of Beat Your A-Fib: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Cure by Steve S. Ryan, PhD (BeatYourA-Fib.com), an Amazon.com Top 100 Seller in two health-related categories (order from Amazon.com and read over 60 customer reviews).

References for this article

Back to top

Return to Dealing with A-Fib

Last updated: Saturday, October 15, 2016

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