Case of the Month #8 - atrial fibrillation

Published 03/02/2022

Key Take Home Messages

  • New onset AF in the critically ill patient is common 
  • Critical illness can accelerate atrial remodelling and trigger onset via autonomic and electrolyte imbalances 
  • Haemodynamic compromise can result from reduced ventricular filling. Unstable patients should be treated in accordance with ALS guidelines 
  • Management should focus on causative factors: correct electrolyte imbalances, treat illness, avoid volume overload, consider chronotropic effects of vasopressors 
  • While most cases of new AF will resolve prior to discharge, following sepsis there is a significant risk of recurrence