Background: Atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common arrhythmia affects an estimated six million people in the United States and affects approximately 2% of people younger than 65.3 AFib increases the risk of having an AF-related stroke by five times and attributes to 130,000 deaths annually.3 Arrhythmia Alliance1 (A-A) works to improve the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for those affected by arrhythmias. As a coalition of charities, patients, medical groups and allied professionals, A-A promote timely and effective diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias. The lifetime risk of developing AFib is one-in-four and detection is cheap and easily done with a simple pulse check; however, many are unaware of their heart rate and rhythm.
Purpose: ‘Know Your Pulse’ (KYP) is an A-A program which informs and detects heart rhythm disorders with use of mobile EKG technology, AliveCor Kardia device. This device is FDA-approved, demonstrating heart rate and rhythm in 30 seconds. ‘KYP’ events increase public awareness, provide educational resources and offer free medical grade EKG’s. This study focuses on the benefits of University partnership as A-A ‘KYP’ leveraged a University Public Health program to demonstrate effective opportunistic population screening.
Methods: Data sources used include entry forms, resource records and the AliveCor Kardia device. Prior to using the device for rate and rhythm checks, entry forms were completed. The AliveCor Kardia device electronically saved EKG data and patient information. Education was offered through printed resources, an A-Fib seminar (hosted by a board-certified cardiologist) and two visual demonstrations on lifesaving skills (provided by a local fire district).
Objectives: To increase awareness of arrhythmias and reduce the rate of undiagnosed AFib patients:
- hosting a ‘know your pulse’ event;
- providing education, demonstration, and resources; and
- partnering with the local community, increasing population screenings.
Results: Ninety-two pulse checks were conducted. A total of 65 were classified as normal, 25 were documented as unclassified and two were identified as atrial fibrillation. Twenty-one students took part in the A-Fib seminar and over 50 resources were distributed. Overall the event reached approximately 300 university students, faculty and staff.
Conclusion: Evaluation occurred at multiple levels of this single day ‘KYP’ event. Indicators measured include the population reached, resources distributed, pulse checks completed and results (i.e., normal, unclassified, possible A-Fib). Each detection of previously undetected A-Fib represents an increased likelihood for early detection and reduction of devasting consequences like AF-related stroke and sudden cardiac arrest. This case study establishes one adaptation of ‘KYP’ events and benefits to university students using opportunist population screening.