Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF) is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
Normally, your heart contracts and relaxes to a regular beat. In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat irregularly (quiver) instead of beating effectively to move blood into the ventricles. About 15–20 percent of people who have strokes have this heart arrhythmia.
If a clot breaks off, enters the bloodstream and lodges in an artery leading to the brain, a stroke results. This clot risk is why patients with this condition are put on blood thinners.
It is extremely important to know the symptoms and receive the correct treatment, doing so reduces the risks for stroke and heart failure.