Heart Rhythm Week Events 2013

Congratulations to all of the individuals, teams and organisations that took part in this year’s Heart Rhythm Week. You were part of the biggest Heart Rhythm Week ever with over 6,000 events taking place in the UK and across the world!

Below are just some of the amazing achievements that we have been able to publish so far:

Over 1,000 ECGs taken at Jersey Hospital!

Jersey's General Hospital was inundated with people getting their heart checked using a new piece of kit.  Instead of rigging patients up an ECG machine, Jersey Hospital trialled a new iPhone heart monitor. 

Many congratulations to Dr Mitchell and his cardiac team who successfully completed 1,000 ECGs in their three day event during Heart Rhythm Week.  10 previously undiagnosed arrhythmias, mostly AF were detected using this new technology.

Read full story    View Channel News coverage


Saving lives from Britain's biggest killer

New data released by Arrhythmia Alliance during Heart Rhythm Week showed that more than half of people in the UK underestimate their potential to save somebody's life if they suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.

Watch ITV News coverage of the story


AF awareness on Day Break with Tom James

AF Association in partnership with Bupa launched a survey which found a third of people have felt an irregular heart rhythm, which could be AF. Around two thirds had never heard of AF, which is the UK's most common heart rhythm disorder.

AF Association Trustee, Professor Richard Schilling discussed the need for timely detection and effective treatment.

Olympic gold medallist, Tom James spoke about the shock of being diagnosed with AF when he was training for the London 2012 Olympics on This Morning.

Watch footage


Defibrillator donations during Heart Rhythm Week


Arrhythmia Alliance helped Alcester place six new defibrillators as part of Hearts & Goals on the first day of Heart Rhythm Week 2013.

Ann Delany and Alison Brown, from the town, made it their mission to protect residents in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

Watch coverage on BBC Midlands Today

Bexleyheath Academy

Bexleyheath Academy has been donated a lifesaving defibrillator in honour of a pupil, Philip Lamin who collapsed and died playing football.

Read story

Portland Bill

The new device will be housed outside the National Coastwatch Institution on Portland Bill and run by volunteers from the station.

Read story 

Fundraising at Newham

Chief Cardiac Physiologist Harb Birdi from Newham Bart's Healthare Trust raised £200 for Arrhythmia Alliance during Heart Rhythm Week.

With special thanks to Miss Tipper and Miss Bansal for their support during the event. 



Blackrod bake off!

Many congratulations to AF Association member Colin Smith from Blackrod who raised £105.00 through his Heart Rhythm Week bake sale.

People flocked to Blackrod to take at look at the entries of bakers who whipped up tasty treats for the contest. Judges for the competition included renowned chef Tom Bridge, Blackrod Mayor Stephen Laycock and Bolton MP Julie Hilling who cast their eye over a chocolate beetroot cake, a Victoria sponge and the winning entry — a scarecrow cake made by Madeline Holmes. Special mention goes to Councillor Anne Cunliffe for her support at the event.

The event was such a success that Colin is now looking to start up a baking club.

Read more




Pulse checks and AF screening in the Highlands

Shona Fraser and her team from NHS Highland Heartbeat Centre, Raigmore Hospital held a week long awareness display and promoted pulse checks to the public.

Shona advises why pulse checks are important and demonstrates how to check your pulse in this YouTube film.

Watch film


Rhythm screening in West Sussex

Arrhythmia and device nurse specialist, Clare Tate, from St Richard's hospital had an eventful week and completed pulse and ECG checks on over 400 people. Through opportunistic testing they picked up five people with undiagnosed AF and an airline pilot with left bundle branch block.

Clare also successfully secured publicity for her event at her local radio station, Spirit fm, and gave an interview on their activities.


Patients share their stories

Chris Solomans, 51, sudden cardiac arrest survivor shared his story during Heart Rhythm Week to help raise awareness of the life-saving difference that can be made with bystander CPR and early defibrillation to survival.

Yorkshire Post coverage



Tachyarrhythmias spotted at Harrogate Hospital

Harrogate District held an awareness stand in the front entrance and main restaurant of the hospital. Emma Edgar and her cardiac team talked about the importance of knowing your pulse to the public.

Using new iPhone heart monitor technology they succesfully screening 70 people and detected two tachyarrhytmias for follow up during their awareness event.



Superpowers demonstrate AEDs in Bolton

Bolton ICD Support Group held an awareness stand in Bolton on Saturday 8th June. Tracey Garde and Tracey Wilkinson from Bolton ICD group demonstrated AEDs, CPR and the importance of pulse checks to members of the public.

Volunteers Michelle Coop, Kathryn and Amy Rimmer raised £80 for Bolton ICD Group through face painting! Superpower guest appearances included Batman, Darth Vadar and the Power Rangers! 


Tea, cakes and Spanish horses

Business woman Julia Alemany-Bird held a 'tea, cakes and Spanish horses' afternoon to raise funds for AF Association on Saturday 8th June after recovering from AF.

The afternoon included pulse check demonstrations, Spanish music, Spanish horses and a raffle.  Julia raised a fantastic £60.00 for the AF Association during her fundraising event.



CPR training for the public in Shipley

Westcliffe Medical Centre held CPR awareness sessions.  During Heart Rhythm Week, members of the public were invited to learn about sudden cardiac arrest, find out what to to if a friend or loved one collapsed and had the chance to practice CPR. 



Raising funds for an AED

Alveston Community Forum held awareness displays in their local school and restaurant to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrrest (SCA) and the importance of life-saving CPR and defibrillators to survival.  Alveston used Heart Rhythm Week to promote better understanding of public access defibrillators ahead of buying their own AED for their village.  The local school children also got involved and designed hearts in their art class during the awareness week!


ECGs at St Bartholomews

Chief Cardiac Physiologist Troy Watts held an awareness display and trialled the new AliveCor heart monitor in his department at St Bartholomews during Heart Rhythm Week.





CPR and cakes at Staffordshire Hospital

Staffordshire hospital held a week long awareness display for the public, promoted CPR awareness through a new app and still had time to raise funds for Arrhythmia Alliance through donations from cake sales at the bakery! 

Many congratulations to Midd Staffordshire Hospital bakery for raising £100.00 through donations through cake sales during Heart Rhythm Week.


AED and CPR training in Shipston-on-Stour

Arrhythmia Alliance in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance provided CPR and AED awareness sessions to members of the public in Shipston on Stour. Members of the public were given hands on experience performing CPR and using an AED. With thanks to Shipston-on-Stour Lions Club for sponsoring the event.





Heart checks at Oxford John Radcliffe

Arrhythmia nurse specialist, Angela Griffiths and her team at Oxford John Radcliffe ran a fundraising pulse check day on Friday 6th June. 68 ECG checks were taken and 1 irregular ECG was detected and sent for GP referral.



International events

Large scale public awareness events in China

Arrhythmia Alliance (A-A) China organised activities in Beijing,Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, Shandong, Ningxia during World Heart Rhythm Week reaching over 4,000 patients and 500 doctors.

At the start of the awareness week in partnership with Beijing Emergency Center, A-A China provided hands on CPR training to citizens and rural doctors. The training was also broadcast to the masses on Beijing TV.

A-A China reached out to the suburbs using a mobile caravan to deliver lectures. The awareness week ended with a large scale public awareness event for citizens in Taoranting Park in Beijing.



Celebrations in Chennai

Arrhythmia Heart Failure Academy and The Madras Medical Mission organised yet another successful week of awareness activities to celebrate World Heart Rhythm Week in Chennai, India.

On 22 June a basic electrophysiology course for medicine, cardiology, anaesthesia students and family physicians was held to educate healthcare professionals on arrhythmias. This event was then followed by a mass public awareness march by students of the Arrhythmia and Heart Failure Academy along Marina Beach raising awareness of the importance of pulse checks to the public. The week ended with an infotainment programme for arrhythmia and heart failure patients.

With special thanks to Dr Pandurangi, consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist and The Madras Medical Mission for their continued support of World Heart Rhythm Week.

View photo presentation



Professional and public awareness of heart rhythm disorders in UAE

Many congratulations to Dr. Rajin Choudhury, Dr. Arif Al Nooriyani and everyone from Al Qassimi Hospital for their successful week of events in Sharjah and northern Emirates.

World Heart Rhythm Week was kicked off with week long pulse checks for the public by nursing staff at Al Quassimi Hospital. They successful screened 472 members of the public and detected seven patients with arrhythmias.

On Tuesday 4th June the hospital arranged CPR training for bystanders throughout the morning. Members of the public were given hands on experience performing CPR and information on what to do in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

The following day an adult and paediatric cardiac electrophysiology (EP) workshop was held for healthcare professionals.

The awareness week ended with a 'Symposium on awareness of heart rhythm disturbances and management' which was attended by doctors, nurses and interns.




ICD Day in Belgium

Belgian ICD Patient organization BIPIB organised a day of education on 27th April 2013 for patients, carers and healthcare professionals interested in ICDs.

The education day was a great success with over 70 people in attendance at the event, including patients, their families and medical students.



AF screening in Australia

Professor Ben Freedman, Prof. of Cardiology, Concord Hospital and spokesperson for AF Association Australia, raises awareness of atrial fibrillation (AF) and highlights a new diagnostic device that can screen for AF during World Heart Rhythm Week 2012.

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Highlights from Heart Rhythm Week 2012

Free heart checks for Jersey Islanders

On 22nd May the Cardiac team at Jersey General Hospital opened their doors for Heart Rhythm Week offering free pulse and blood pressure checks to Islanders. The team saw a staggering 635 members of the public in just eight hours, detecting nine patients for further tests and signposting two patients to A&E with chest pain. Following successful heart checks, one patient was referred to primary care in the morning and by the afternoon had been prescribed beta blockers.

Thank you to the Jersey General Hospital Cardiac team for their amazing work during Heart Rhythm Week.

Dr Hilary Jones and patient Joanne on air for Heart Rhythm Week

In London, Daybreak Health Editor, Dr Hilary Jones and A-A patient Joanne Brookes, recently fitted with an ICD conducted 14 live radio interviews raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart rhythm disorders for Heart Rhythm Week. From Waves Radio in Aberdeenshire, to Voice FM in Southampton, Dr Hilary Jones and Joanne advised and reassured people across the nation to take their heart health in their hands.

MPs lend their name in support of Heart Rhythm Week

On 12th June, 26 MPs lent their name in support of Heart Rhythm Week signing the Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) pledge to help raise awareness of atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder, in their constituency. The pledge committed the MP to support the work of the AFA in raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of AF and to help empower patients to take their heart health in their hands.

Bradford East MP David Ward (right) said: “I am pleased to be able to sign the AFA pledge to raise awareness of AF within Bradford East”.

Oxford team offer their expertise

On Thursday 24th May, Angie Griffiths, Arrhythmia Nurse Specialist and her cardiac team manned an awareness stand at the Oxford John Radcliffe hospital educating public and professionals about the signs and symptoms of heart rhythm disorders.

Through their heart advice they raised a fantastic £30 for Arrhythmia Alliance.

Pulse checks on offer for Teessiders

From Monday to Friday during Heart Rhythm Week, Liz Harbron, Cardiac specialist nurse and her team offered free pulse checks at University Hospital of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Cardiac specialist nurse Liz Habron said: “Pulse checks are one of the most effective ways of identifying heart abnormalities by monitoring regularity, strength and speed “.

Manchester Heart Centre and Asda Hulme

On Thursday 24th May, the team from Manchester Heart Centre held a public awareness event in Asda supermarket promoting ‘Your Heart in Your Hands’. The Cardiac team volunteered their time offering opportunistic pulse checks to shoppers and handed out information and advice.

Thank you Manchester Heart Centre for your time and support!

International Events

Saudi Heart Rhythm Society launch 'Your Heart in your Hands'

The Saudi Heart Rhythm Society held its annual Heart Rhythm Week from 12-19 September 2012. Dr. Abdulmohsen Al Musaad, President of the Saudi Heart Rhythm Society and Head of Electrophysiology department at King Abdulaziz Medical City for National Guard Health Affairs -Riyadh, declared: "At least one in four of us will develop a potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder. Saudi Heart Rhythm Society is calling for anyone experiencing symptoms to fill out the 'Your heart in your hands' Checklist available in patient waiting areas across all hospitals in Saudi Arabia and to see their Electrophysiologist."

1,000 posters and 10,000 Your Heart in Your Hands posters were distributed during the week to key hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Heart Rhythm Week praised by the public in China

On 15th May 2012, Heart Rhythm Week was launched at a press conference in Beijing supported by Chairman Professor Xinchun Yang and Chairwoman Dr Wenling Liu of A-A China. More than 60 arrhythmia experts and 20 media professionals, including Professor Jihong Guo, Peking University People’s Hospital and Professor ZiRen XIAO, former President of the Medical Association attended the launch which announced the start of Heart Rhythm Week raising awareness of the importance of recognising the signs and symptoms of heart rhythm disorders for early detection, appropriate management and accurate treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in China.

During the week, A-A China organised free health consultations and educational lectures involving doctors from 32 urban and rural hospitals across Beijing reaching more than 7,000 patients and 350 doctors. A staggering 16,800 information booklets were distributed during the week in China. Congratulations to A-A China for their staggering achievement during Heart Rhythm Week.

Madras Medical Mission observe Heart Rhythm Week

Madras Medical Mission (MMM) organised a series of events to mark Heart Rhythm Week from 4th June 2012. It is estimated that as many as 50,000 people are living with an undiagnosed arrhythmia in Chennai.

The hospital kicked-off Heart Rhythm Week with a walkathon on Marina beach, followed by an arrhythmia screening camp in Mogappair targeting students and teachers. The hospital also targeted healthcare professionals, organising a basic ECG learning course on the 8th and 9th June, attended by over 500 physicians. Finally, the awareness week ended with an infotainment programme for over 20 arrhythmia patients.

MMM achieved national outreach during Heart Rhythm Week; hitting the headlines in the Indian Express, Indian Times and The Hindu. Congratulations to Arrhythmia Heart Failure Academy Madras Medical Mission for their work in raising awareness of heart rhythm disorders in India during Heart Rhythm Week.


Australia holds Know Your Pulse event in Parliament House

On Thursday 24th May 2012 Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) Australia hosted a Know Your Pulse event in New South Wales Parliament. MPs and the Minster for Health were invited to have their pulse taken and a new phone device was launched to screen for atrial fibrillation across chemists in Sydney.

'Race for PACE' Africa

In South Africa, PACE Africa organised ‘Race for PACE’ event where volunteers ran from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death in schools, reaching thousands of children and visited retirement villages to highlight of AF related stroke.

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