Stopping Atrial Fibrillation is Big News!
- Volume 11 - Issue 9 - September 2011
- Posted on: 8/30/11
- 0 Comments
- 4361 reads
Atrial fibrillation is making headline news. Capitol Hill is even addressing the concerns of the afib community. Resolutions supporting access to care, afib research, and education have worked their way through Congress this past summer. The timing couldn’t be better, because September is also Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, when healthcare facilities across the country will announce or hold community afib-related events.
To further bolster the awareness efforts during the month, three public service announcements will be airing in the coming weeks as well. Also, for patients, care supporters, and healthcare professionals, Team AFib, a coalition of organizations that advocate for atrial fibrillation patients, will conduct a Webinar on September 14, addressing the care requirements of afib patients and how the care team can best work together.
In the following article I will discuss the efforts currently being made in atrial fibrillation. I’m so thankful for all of this attention, because it means atrial fibrillation will get diagnosed and afib patients will receive better care. I am also grateful for the many doctors, nurses, donors, organizations and, of course, afib patients who have pitched in on this journey to raise awareness and grabbed those headlines.
The biggest news headline came when Congress promoted the link between awareness-raising efforts and the well-being of afib sufferers. This past year, StopAfib.org, along with other organizations, asked Congress to recognize the concerns of the afib community — and they listened. The U.S. House of Representatives is considering House Resolution 295. The resolution was introduced by Representatives Kay Granger (R-TX), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Charles Gonzalez (D-TX), and as of early August, it had 30 sponsors of the needed 100. The resolution seeks to raise the priority of afib in the existing research and education funding allocation process. Atrial fibrillation has often been overlooked for research and funding, so this resolution asks for afib-related research to be included in current budgeting. The resolution does not seek any new funding. For more information about the House resolution, go to: http://bit.ly/HRes295
In Rep. Granger’s letter to other representatives asking for their support, she straightforwardly stated why Congress should pay attention: “The increased risks for stroke and heart disease associated with atrial fibrillation have significant implications. The cost of atrial fibrillation to the U.S. healthcare system is estimated to be $15.7 billion per year. Even more tragically, approximately 88,000 Americans will die every year as a result of this condition.”