June 13, 2011 2:17 PM

Mark at the Atrial Fibrilation event in Parliament

Local MP Mark Hunter this week took part in an event in Parliament, as part of World Heart Rhythm Week, to help raise awareness of the importance of pulse checks.

The campaign, spearheaded by the charities, ArrhythmiaAlliance(the Heart Rhythm Charity) and Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA), aims to raise awareness of Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common heart rhythm disorder in theUK.

Figures published by the Department of Health in 2007 suggested that AF affected in excess of 800,000 people in the UK. However, this is now considered to be an underestimate and that a more accurate figure may now be in excess of one million, with 200,000 patients being newly diagnosed each year. It is also responsible for 18%-20% of all strokes in theUK.

A simple pulse check is a quick and easy way of detecting AF and other heart rhythm disorders. It only takes four simple steps to learn how to take your pulse. By taking your pulse as various points throughout the day, you may be able to detect an unusual heart rate which you had not previously been aware of. In this instance it is advisable to seek advice from you local GP.

Mark Hunter MP said:

"I fully support this campaign to encourage people to check their pulse. It is astonishing to think that such a simple test could help diagnose and treat a condition which can have such serious consequences.

"I urge everyone to check their pulse and to learn more about this condition. In addition, I hope to encourage the Primary Care Trust to look at their strategy on the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with AF to see if a measure such as including a pulse check as part of the NHS Health Check would be appropriate for our area."

Trudie Lobban MBE, CEO and founder of the AFA said:

"Understanding AF and other heart rhythm disorders, can improve a patient's chance of finding a successful treatment and could save their life. As part of World Heart Rhythm Awareness Week, I urge everyone to take a minute to Know Your Pulse!"

What would you like to do next?