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


Product Reviews

Book Review: “Your Complete Guide to AFib” by Percy Morales, MD

Review by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

I received an advance copy of “Your Complete Guide to AFib―The Essential Manual for Every Patient With Atrial Fibrillation” by Dr. Percy Morales and asked for a review. The opinions given are my own.

Caveat: $149.95 to be Cured of AFib

Abbreviations for Atrial Fibrillation include: AFib, A-Fib and AF.

Dr. Morales’ book encourages readers to sign up for his “takecontroloverafib.com” program at $149.95 a pop. It’s very surprising to see a medical doctor engage in a direct marketing-type sales hustle. His “Guide to Healthy Living” reads like a Tony Robbins motivational presentation but applied to AFib.

[I personally was very discouraged and depressed reading Dr. Morales’ work.]

Style of Dr. Morales’ Book

“Your Complete Guide to AFib” is written by a working Electrophysiologist (EP). It’s a thin book, 119 pages, without a lot of content. But what’s there is clear and based on Dr. Morales’ own experience.

In terms of style, Dr. Morales’ book is a dull read with too many proofreading errors for such a small volume.

Instead of standard footnotes, he cites actual web sites which doesn’t work well. (Website addresses and pages change every day. As a solo source, they are not a reliable one.)

Is There No Cure for AFib?

A major shortcoming of Dr. Morales’ book is he doesn’t acknowledge that AFib can be cured, that you don’t have to live in AFib. This is discouraging and a turn-off for many readers. He isn’t big on hope.

Causes of AFib

Under “Causes of AFib” Dr. Morales doesn’t discuss or acknowledge Lone AFib where people who are perfectly healthy get AFib and don’t have any comorbidities (around 50% of AFib cases, including me) (p. 16). But on page 99 he does acknowledge that, “some younger patients will be diagnosed with AFib where there is no clear cause for it.”

Most people who develop AFib are not sick with other diseases. And even if one is sick with, for example, high blood pressure, we can’t say for sure that high blood pressure “caused” a particular person’s AFib.

Is AFib Your Fault?

Dr. Morales implies that it’s a patient’s fault that they developed AFib, because they let themselves get sick with “comorbidities” which brought on their AFib (p. 16). … Continue reading this book review..->

For A-Fib Patients: An Updated Review of Medic Alert ID Products

When you have A-Fib and you’re taking a blood thinner or other medications, you may want to carry details of your specific medical history.

From the simple printed card to products with an integrated USB drive, there are many ways to carry your emergency history with you these days.

Beyond the familiar styles of metallic Medic Alert ID bracelets and necklace pendants, there are products using newer materials like waterproof foam, Duro silicone and plastic. And products linking to centralized, password protected data storage services.

We’ve reviewed dozens of products to offer you an updated sampling of the available options. (For each product, we’ve included a hyperlink so you can easily get more information.)

A Few of Our Favorite Wearables

These are a few items that caught our eye. An Apple Watch slip-on ID band with multiple lines of custom text, an athletic shoe with medical ID card holder which attaches with velcro. And a sports helmet warning decal for 911 responders, with registered data service and built-in medical ID pocket.

Apple Watch strap add-on stainless steel medical ID from Road ID

Athletic shoe ID pocket with Velcro attachment by Vital ID

Helmet warning decal for 911 EMTs with ID card pocket from Vital ID

USB Drive Equipped Products with Medic Alert Symbol

These products all display an emergency symbol or label and include an integrated USB drive. Data can be registered or entered by the owner. A few items are a Duro silicone, latex-free bracelet with pop out USB drive, a stainless steel key chain with the USB built into the fob, and credit-card size data wallet card with a hinged USB drive.

Duro silicone bracelet with integrated USB drive by CARExcel Medical History

Key ring fob with integrated USB drive by Key 2 Life® EMR Medi-Chip

Emergency Medical Information USB Card – The size of a credit card! by 911 Medical ID

Keeping it Simple: Print Your Medical ID Wallet Card

Printable Med ID Wallet Card from AllenLawrence.com

If you want the low-tech version, here are three free online sources for printing your own wallet cards:

Printable Emergency Medical ID Card (online form) by AllFreePrintable.com
• Print Your Own Emergency Medical I.D. Card (online form) by AllenLawrence.com
Emergency Contact Card (in PDF format) from the American Red Cross

Follow the online instructions to enter your information. Then print, trim, fold and add to your wallet or purse. (Or print the blank form and fill-in by hand.)

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

Don’t carry a wallet? Consider a Money Clip with medical symbol and a compartment to slide in an emergency medical ID (left); from Universal Medical Data.

Review and Update the Contents Regularly

Whichever method(s) you use to carry your emergency medical information, don’t forget to review and update the contents regularly. For example, when you change doctors, when you start (or stop) a medication, or if you have a medical emergency or surgical procedure.

Knowing you have up-to-date medical information will give you peace of mind.

Additional thought: Consider your spouse and other family members. Should they also carry their medical emergency ID information?

What Emergency Medical Info Should You Carry?

For information about what emergency medical information to carry, see our article, Your Portable Medical Information Kit.

VIDEO: Compares Apple Watch 4 EKG to Hospital 12-Lead EKG

Image from C/NET video

C/NET.com has posted a very informative short video featuring Dr. Gregory Marcus at the UCSF Medical Center who compares a 1-lead ECG from the Apple Watch Series 4 to the results of a traditional hospital 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG).

Hooked up to a traditional electrocardiogram monitor, C/NET Senior Editor Vanessa Hand Orellana uses an Apple Watch 4 app to take her 30 second ECG reading.

Compare ECGs: See comparisons of Vanessa’s readings from her 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor and her Apple Watch ECG.

EKG monitor from C/NET video

Learn the technology of how the Apple Watch captures the heart beat.

Dr. Marcus talks about appropriate uses of the Apple Watch ECG and the role of the electrocardiogram. (Note: Other wearable devices also let you take an ECG outside the doctor’s office.)

Go to video: Animations with location footage and on-camera interview. 4:26 min video. See the video–> Apple Watch EKG tested against a hospital EKG

‘A Patient Cured is a Customer Lost’ & Other Facts About Big Pharma

Did you know drug companies spend twice as much on marketing and advertising as on researching and developing new drugs? (I was shocked.)

Of special interest to me is the ‘Direct to Consumer’ drug advertising which has significantly increased drug sales in the U.S.

‘Direct to Consumer’ drug advertising is so misleading that it is banned in all countries except two: the U.S. and New Zealand. (No wonder that 70% of drug companies’ profit comes from the U.S.)

Misleading Drug Ads

To be specific, I hate those misleading TV commercials that target A-Fib patients. What these ads for anticoagulants don’t tell you is:

• You are on their meds for life! (they want lifelong customers!)
• These meds do nothing to treat your A-Fib (only your risk of stroke)
• A-Fib can be cured (you don’t have to be on meds for the rest of your life)

These ads for anticoagulant medications imply that if you just take their pill once a day, you’ve taken care of your A-Fib. Wrong! Don’t fall for the hype.

Bad Pharma—How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors & Harm Patients

The author of Bad Pharma does an excellent job of shining a light on the truths that the drug industry wants to stay hidden.

Bad Pharma by Ben GoldacreThose truths include how they mislead doctors and the medical industry through sales techniques, and manipulate consumers into becoming life-long drug customers. (For doctors, that industry influence begins in medical school and continues throughout their practice.)

We also learn truths about the internal workings of the medical academia, the U.S. FDA, and medical journals publishing.

The arguments in the book are supported by research and data made available to the reader. The author, Ben Goldacre, is a doctor and science journalist, and advocates for sticking to the scientific method, full disclosure and advocating for the interest of the patients. Read a critical review of Bad Pharma in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

My Best Advice: ‘Educate Yourself’

One of our tenets at A-Fib.com, is ‘Educate Yourself’! if you want to be a more savvy consumer of health care services (I highly recommend Bad Pharma. I also recommend Ben Goldacre’s other book, Bad Science).

Bonus Idea: If you pair this book withKnow Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics by Steven Woloshin, you’ll have a complete course on how the drug industry skillfully markets their products. Read my review.

Read the book for FREE: The ebook version is online at U.S. National Library of Medicine PubMedHealth, and you can download the .PDF version (remember to save to your hard drive).

See my post: How Big Pharma Issues Misleading News and Why it Matters.

Features the report by the online watchdog group HealthNewsReview.org.

 

Don’t Settle for a Lifetime on Medications—

Seek your A-Fib Cure

Review: CONTEC Handheld Portable ECG Heart Rate Monitor (PM10)

Tim Zhang from Contec Medical Systems CO., LTD, offered us a Contec Handheld Portable ECG Heart Rate Monitor, PM10, to try for ourselves hoping we would add it to our reviews of other similar units.

Contec PM10/EMAY Ltd EMG-10

The Contec PM10, an FDA Certified device, is also sold as the EMAY Ltd EMG-10. Both handheld portable ECG heart rate monitors are about $79 on Amazon.com. The PM10 is a small 4 oz. unit that can track a single channel ECG waveform. You can observe the scan live, then download the recordings (up to 30) to your computer or smartphone for review and print to share with your doctor. It claims to detect up to 12 cardiac conditions. I don’t have A-Fib anymore (thank goodness), so I wasn’t able to test while in A-Fib.

The user guide’s small size, tiny printing and wording leaves a lot to be desired. (Note: You can find the guide on the internet and download in a normal full-size page layout.)

Easy to Record an ECG, But Requires Software to Review

To charge the PM10 battery: Use the provided micro USB cable to connect the unit to a USB port on your computer. While charging, you’ll see a faint blinking blue light beneath the white plastic at right top front of the curved end.

Taking a scan (no cable or smartphone needed): To turn on, press the blue button (the only button on the unit) and hold down for 3-4 seconds and you’ll hear a beep (it turns off automatically). You’ll notice the metal contacts are sizeable on this relatively small device.

Measurement positions of Contec PM10 at A-Fib.com

Measurement positions of Contec PM10

Hold the unit as shown in the drawings (between both hands, or hold with one hand and the unit on your chest.) You can watch the unit capture your heart beats. It takes a few seconds for the waveform to stabilize, then start recording for a 10 sec measurement. (There’s a 10 sec countdown on the screen). It displays your heart rate as well.

Summary screen: When completed, the ECG scan is replaced with a summary screen with its best guess about the recording. Examples: No abnormal, Bradycardia, Missed beat. You can’t review the recording on the unit. You must download to software on your computer or smartphone.

Contec PHMS App or Software

The PM10 connects by Bluetooth or USB cable to a smartphone phone or computer. You’ll want to install the app or software so you can download your scans for review or printing. The PHMS app can be found on iTunes and Google Play.

Download screen opens first

For a computer, you can download the PHMS software from the Contecmed.com download page or the EMAY Ltd download page (I found EMAY easier and faster).

Reviewing your recordings: On my laptop I connected to the PM10 just like when I charged the battery. (The first time you might want to open the software, then connect the cable and the PM10.)

Manage tab with downloaded scans

The ‘Download’ tab opens first. Press the ‘Start new search’ and the software displays a list of scans from your PM10. Press the button ‘Download all’. Then switch to the ‘Manage’ tab. From here you can select a scan from the list and press ‘Review’ to see the ECG. A Diagnosis column is on the right.

Review screen with ECG and data

From here you can print the scan. (To close, double-click on the ECG to return to the downloaded list).

Helpful tip: When you ‘print’ you can also select ‘Adobe PDF’ as your printer and save to your hard drive, but I had poor image results. An alternative is to take a screenshot or use the Windows snipping tool. Save the image, then print. Either way, you can attach it to an email and send to your doctor.

Amazon.com Contec Reviews from Customers with A-Fib

A curious point about the Amazon.com reviews: The Contec PM-10 has a customer review rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars, whereas the EMAY EMG-10 has a customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. From scanning the reviews, EMAY purchasers are happier with their contacts with EMAY customer service. (I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.)

Amazon.com link

Use the A-Fib.com portal link to Amazon.com

I’ve included comments from three reviewers (who mention having A-Fib) on the Contec PM10 product page:

• A Contec review on Amazon.com by Ron Crist noted there’s no hidden fees like other popular devices (e.g. monthly fee for Kardia Heart Monitor by AliveCor). He went on to write: “I have persistent AFib and have had 2 crippling strokes. No more cardioversions (electric shocks) for me. I hope. I Strongly recommend it.”

• A doctor with A-Fib, PD, wrote on Amazon.com: This is a very good machine but ekg has some static. I am a doc with atrial fib and this helps in terms of heart rate and ekg…took some experimenting [to set up] but the results are gratifying…Once set up I give it 5 stars.”

• An Amazon reviewer with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation writes: “This monitor allows me to see just when my condition occurs and gives my cardiologist a better picture of my condition. Although not a perfect answer it does enhance the overall picture.”

You can read the Amazon.com reader reviews for yourself at the Contec PM10 and the EMAY EMG-10 product description pages.

Lightweight, Easy to Use, But Not a “Diagnostic” Device

Contec PM10 box & contents

The Contec PM10 is easy to use and carry in a pocket or handbag for scans on the go. Or leave with your laptop for periodic checks. While you can observe the ECG scan live on the screen, there’s no review screen. You must download the scan to review it or print it.

Unlike the AliveCor Kardia, no smartphone or tablet is needed to take scans. Observing the live ECG tracing may be enough for most A-Fib patients who just want a quick check of their heart beat and heart rate. I think you get a lot for the $79 price.

But remember this is not a diagnostic device. It doesn’t replace an ECG by your doctor or use of a mobile type of heart rhythm monitor to capture the electrical activity of your heart (e.g., a Holter monitor or event monitor).

I welcome your comments if you have used this unit or others in our reviews, Guide to DIY Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) & Handheld ECG Monitors (Part I) and Do-It-Yourself ECG: A Review of Consumer Handheld ECG Monitors. Just send me an email.

Possible Sleep Apnea? Oximeter is DIY Way to Check your Blood’s Oxygen Level

As many as 43% of A-Fib patients also suffer with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An easy preliminary step towards finding out if you have a sleep disorder is with the use of an inexpensive oximeter. To check your blood’s oxygen level, just insert your finger.

Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor

Designed for pilots and sport enthusiasts who want to obtain their SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation Levels) and PR (Pulse Rate) on the go. A-Fib patients can use one, too.

The pulse oximeter LED display faces you so it’s easy to read. (The Zacurate, Facelake and Santamedical are brands of Fingertip Pulse Oximeters. Reasonably priced, starting at $13 on Amazon.com. )

Taking a reading is easy. Just clip it on to your finger and turn it on at the press of a button. The large LED display makes viewing the results a snap.  (The one from Zacurate comes with 2 AAA batteries so that you can use it immediately.)

Your Blood’s Oxygen Level

A reading of 90% or lower means you should talk to your doctor, you may need a sleep study.

HINT for after you have taken your initial oxygen level: Take a BIG deep breath and HOLD it. You should see the reading increase as more oxygen enters your blood stream.

To learn more about sleep apnea and A-Fib, see Sleep Apnea: When Snoring Can Be Lethal and the Podcast: The Double Whammy? Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation.

New from AliveCor: Wearable ECG for Your Apple Watch

For A-Fib patients, we now have the promise of personal monitoring to detect atrial fibrillation.

After working through a tedious FDA approval process, AliveCor’s KardiaBand™ for Apple Watch® is finally available (they’ve been promoting it since before October 2016). KardiaBand is similar in function to AliveCor’s Kardia Mobile, a small device which interfaces with smart phones to display and record ECGs.

The KardiaBand is the first of its kind, FDA-cleared, clinical grade wearable ECG. It replaces your original Apple Watch wristband and provides access to a 30-second ECG anytime, anywhere.

By placing your thumb on your wristwatch band, the KardiaBand for Apple Watch offers a medical grade single lead ECG recording. (The ECG recordings are equivalent in quality to those made by the Kardia Mobile.) You can record unlimited ECGs and email the readings to anyone.

Kardia’s SmartRhythm Monitoring System

Your Apple Watch’s built-in heart rate sensor and accelerometer, when combined with the KardiaBand, uses Alivecor’s SmartRhythm™ monitoring with artificial intelligence models for tracking heart rate and activity data.

SmartRhythm monitoring involves a deep neural network that runs directly on the Apple Watch, constantly acquiring data from the watch. When the network sees a pattern of heart rate and activity that it does not expect, it notifies you to take an ECG using the KardiaBand sensor.

Or, any time you like, you can discretely take a 30-second ECG. The KardiaBand with SmartRhythm monitoring can instantly recognize Normal Sinus Rhythm, and check for Possible Atrial Fibrillation (AF). To learn more about how it works, go to Alivecor.com/technology.

The Price of an ECG on Your Wrist

KardiaBand requires an Apple Watch and Kardia app. The KardiaBand is $199.00 and ships with two band lengths to assure a proper fit. Includes free shipping and a 30-day money back guarantee. It’s available from the Alivecor website.

The gold standard for diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (and other cardiac arrhythmias or abnormalities) is an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Spoiler Alert—KardiaGuard Premium Membership Required: The KardiaBand product for Apple Watch REQUIRES KardiaGuard membership at $9.99/month or $99/year (20% savings). You do get a 30-day free trial that begins from the time you create an account with the Kardia App. (Note: There’s no membership required to use the Kardia Monitor.)

Buyer’s Regret: With a 30-day money back guarantee on the KardiaBand and free 30-day membership trial, if not happy with your purchase, I suppose you can return it all and owe nothing.

Online Customer Reviews

I found the most helpful online review is by Anthony Pearson, MD, at The Skeptical Cardiologist website (theskepticalcardiologist.com). See his article: Alivecor’s Kardia band is now available: Mobile ECG on your Apple Watch.

Customer reviews of the AliveCor KardiaBand on Amazon.com are split; take a look.

Two Ways You Might Use an AliveCor Kardia

Travis Von Slooten

Travis Von Slooten

How might you use the Kardia to help with your A-Fib? Travis Van Slooten, publisher of Livingwithatrialfibrillation.com, wrote about using his AliveCor Kardia Mobile (the Kardia version used with a smart phone or tablet). In his review he shares:

AliveCor Kardia Monitor for cell phone or tablet at A-Fib.com

AliveCor Kardia Monitor for smart phone or tablet

“When I would go into afib, I was highly symptomatic. However, I always turned to my Kardia Mobile monitor to confirm I was indeed in afib before I would take my medication (Flecainide) as a pill-in-the-pocket approach to treating my atrial fibrillation.

This is a very powerful antiarrhythmic drug, especially at the doses I was taking (300mg), so I didn’t want to take it unless I was absolutely sure I was in afib.

I would then use the AliveCor monitor afterwards to confirm I was back in NSR. … It was great to have the monitor to confirm when the episode was over.

Works for PVC/PACs too: Since his successful ablation back in March 2015, Travis hasn’t needed to use the Kardia Monitor for A-Fib specifically, but now uses it extensively in his battle with PVCs and PACs. He confirms his PVC/PACs and rules out A-Fib. He also uses the data to keep a historical record of the number of his PVC/PACs. To read Travis’ full review, see our article: AliveCor Kardia Update: Review by Travis Van Slooten.

Caution: Health-Related Anxiety

In an AliveCor KardioBand review on CardioBrief.org, James Stein (University of Wisconsin) offered the following insight:

“…Many people with expendable income have health-related anxiety, so this product enables their desire to spend money and achieve a temporary but false piece of mind, since random monitoring has not been proven to prevent any adverse events or improve health outcomes…”

Before You Buy: Determine Your Goals

If you decide to invest in an AliveCor KardiaBand and Apple Watch, first determine your goals. Be realistic. It’s not a replacement for your doctor’s Event Monitor. And the ECGs won’t help you avoid an A-Fib-related stroke.

Using the KardiaBand and Apple Watch to email ECGs may help you communicate better with your doctor. It may help to know if you are or are not having A-Fib attack. It may help you remain calm and give you peace of mind.

Remember: A KardiaBand on an Apple Watch is just another tool in your A-Fib “toolbox” that can help you cope with your A-Fib.

VIDEO: Here’s a short video that shows you the basics of using the KardiaBand with your Apple Watch. Posted by AliveCor, Inc. Length: 51 seconds.

Carrying Your Medical ID: A Free Wallet Card or Wearable Technology

Print free wallet card from allfreeprintable.com

Last updated: September 1, 2020. When you have A-Fib and you’re taking a blood thinner or other medications, you may want to carry your medical information. There are many ways to carry your info these days, on a printed card, or  with an array of accessories with USB storage, etc.

Print Your Free Online Medical ID Wallet Card

To help you make your medical ID, we have three Free online sources for printing your own wallet cards (updated 1-14-18).

Wallet size medicine ID Card (online form) from CVS Pharmacy
• Printable Emergency Medical ID Card (in PDF format) from AllFreePrintable.com
• Emergency Contact Card (in PDF format) from American Red Cross

Use the PDF form online to enter your information. Then, print, trim, fold and add to your wallet or purse. Or print the blank form and fill-in by hand).

A Few 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”.

Additional Ways to Carry Your Emergency Medical Alert ID Information

Wearable technology: There are many new styles of Medic Alert IDs bracelets (latex-free) and necklace pendants both with pre-loaded software and made with different materials like waterproof foam, leather and stainless steel.

Care USB Medical History Bracelet – latex free

USB key from Stat Alert

USB key from Stat Alert

USB credit card-size by ER Card

Credit card-size USB by ER Card

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

Money clip from Universal Medical Data

You can also carry your emergency medical ID information on USB-equipped personal devices like a key chain fob and credit-card size data wallet card (above).

Paper-based? Don’t carry a wallet? Consider a Money clip with a compartment to slide in your emergency contact info (right).

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

What Emergency Medical Info Should You Carry?

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

Book Review: The Empowered Patient: How to Get the Best Medical Care Every Time

the-empowered-patient-cover-400-x-600-pix-at-300-resThe Empowered Patient: How to Get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time

by Elizabeth Cohen

Review by Steve S. Ryan, PhD

For many, today’s healthcare system is overwhelming and confusing. Gone are the days of the paternal family doctor who managed your overall medical care. Today, you must step up and take responsibility for managing your own health care.

This Review: Important Material all Patients Should Consider

‘The Empowered Patient’, written by a CNN Senior medical Correspondent, is a short, easily read book. Chapters are organized in categories with common problems and practical solutions.

This review discusses important material for all patients to consider. If you read the softcover book, I recommend having a highlight marker and some post-it tabs handy for marking particular passages of personal interest for follow-up and future reference.

Trust No One Completely

When it comes to medicine, trust no one completely. Each year, 99,000 patients die from infections they acquire in hospitals, and another 98,000 die from medical mistakes in hospitals. … Continue reading this report…->

Book Review: How Hope, Belief and Expectations Can Alter the Course of Your Illness

The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness, by Jerome E. Groopman

Review by Patti J. Ryan, based on my customer review on Amazon.com

There’s more to hope than we thought. Hope triggers biochemical changes.

On A-Fib.com, hope and encouragement are important ingredients in becoming your own best patient advocate and seeking your A-Fib cure.

We know hope impacts one’s emotions. But it also affects our physical being. I bought and read this book to learn about the BIOLOGY of hope. Written by an oncologist and citing actual patient cases (mostly cancer), Dr. Groopman explores the role of hope in fighting disease and healing.

Bolster All Your Energies to Find Your A-Fib Cure

The latter part of The Anatomy of Hope interested me the most. It documents the positive physiological responses evoked by hope. Top scientists are interviewed who study the biological link between emotion and biological responses. The most relevant studies on the subject are reviewed (I’ve highlighted and marked these with sticky notes). We learn that there’s more to hope than we thought. Hope triggers biochemical changes. Biochemical changes can fight disease.

 Hope triggers biochemical changes. Biochemical changes can fight disease.

Dr Groopman shows how hope, belief and expectations can alter the course of our lives, and even of our physical body. Good news for any patient dealing with a serious health condition, including Atrial Fibrillation patients!

I recommend The Anatomy of Hope to help you bolster all your energies to find your A-Fib cure.

Our Positive Thought/Prayer Group: Support is Just an Email Away

Patients offer support - A-Fib.com

Patients offer support

At A-Fib.com one of our volunteer groups is a Positive Thought/Prayer group comprised of wonderful people worldwide. If you would like their support, especially at the time of your ablation or surgery, please email us your request. It’s comforting to know that others who’ve had A-Fib care about you and wish you well.

How to Send Your Request: Send your request to our coordinator, Barbara at: babareeba(at)aol.com (substitute an “@” for the “(at)”).

Join our Group: We invite you to learn more about our ‘A-Fib Positive Thought/Prayer’ group. All are welcome.

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