Written by attorney Jennifer L Keel

Atrial Fibrillation and Medical Malpractice Claims

By Jennifer L. Keel (

Atrial fibrillation (also called “afib" or “af"), is the most common cardiac rhythm disturbance requiring medical therapy, and is a frequent cause of hospitalization. Current estimates suggest that atrial fibrillation affects 2.2 million Americans 1], but the number of people with atrial fibrillation in the US is projected to rise significantly in the future, reaching 16 million by 2050. [2] Its prevalence means that a significant number of patients with medical negligence claims also have a history of afib. This piece of information could be relevant to the claims and defenses in a potential [medical malpractice (, even if the injury being investigated is unrelated to your heart. It is important to choose a law firm that understands how your other medical conditions may affect your potential claim for medical malpractice.

Conditions like atrial fibrillation, diabetes, pre-existing heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure can impact your claims, and should be considered as a part of your case evaluation. When choosing a law firm to represent you in your medical malpractice claim, you want to be sure you are hiring lawyers who understand not only the medicine underlying the claim itself, but also the medical issues that may have pre-existed your medical negligence injury. Experience matters.

[1] Feinberg WM, Cornell ES, Nightingale SD, et al. Relationship between prothrombin activation fragment F1.2 and international normalized ratio in patients with atrial fibrillation. Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation Investigators. Stroke. 1997; 28:1106-6

[2]Miyasaka Y, Barnes ME, et al. Secular trends in incidence of atrial fibrillation in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1980 to 2000, and implications on the projections for future prevalence. Circulation. 2006 Jul 11; 114(2):119-25. Epub 2006 Jul 3.

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