Pulse Checks

A manual pulse check is the simplest, most cost effective method of identifying undetected Atrial Fibrillation and should be undertaken in all routine clinical practice, especially for those at increased risk of AF.

Embedding pulse checks into commissioning plans has been shown to have a positive impact on local AF prevalence as it encourages staff to complete a pulse check in all routine appointments. For example, when blood pressure is taken at a flu vaccination clinic or chronic disease prevention related activity, such as the NHS Health Check.

It is key that patients are aware of how to check their own pulse rhythm.

The case studies in this section provide excellent examples of how different clinical services such as Podiatry and Community Pharmacies, have incorporated pulse checks within their everyday workload. There are also examples of commissioning plans and service specifications that outline innovative ways in which pulse checks can be completed in routine practice, along with examples of AF whole pathway improvements.

It is also key that patients are aware of how to check their own pulse rhythm and the British Heart Foundation and Arrhythmia Alliance have some excellent resources and videos to support this on their websites.

Featured Resources

Know Your Pulse: Raising awareness to reduce atrial fibrillation-related strokes for the public and health professionals

The Innovation Agency, North West Coast Academic Health Science Network has run several campaigns to help highlight awareness of Atrial read more

BHF Link – checking your pulse

How to check your pulse. You may be able to tell if you have a regular or irregular heart beat by checking your pulse. This is ... read more

NHS Health Check Link

Embed pulse checks in commissioning plans to include them in all routine clinical practice, e.g. flu vaccination clinics, clinic visits read more

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