• Home

Patient Information Sheets

The Heart Rhythm Society has a selection of education materials that you can download and print for yourself. 

Further information regarding these topics can be found using the search tool on the top right hand corner of the page. 

Looking for trusted information for yourself or a loved one? Our educational information sheets, developed by experts in the field, provide quick, simple, and easy-to-understand definitions, explanations, and answers to questions.

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF) is a problem with how your heart beats. With AFib, your heart may beat too fast, switch back and forth from fast to slow, or skip beats. This “irregular” type of heartbeat may start suddenly and then stop on its own, or it may become a long-lasting problem. With AFib, your heart can’t pump blood out to your body in a normal way, which results in a higher risk of stroke and other heart problems.

Download: Atrial Fibrillation (AFib or AF)

People with AFib are five times more likely to have a stroke than those without AFib, and the strokes are worse.


Stroke Prevention as the Cornerstone of AFib Treatment

What To Do To Reduce AFib and Prevent Stroke: 5 Health Tips Treatment Plan

Nearly 9 out of 10 people with AFib who go to the emergency room because of a stroke are not taking a blood thinner or not taking it regularly.

Download: Following Your Blood Thinner Treatment Plan

Each time a person with sleep apnea is startled awake by a lack of oxygen during their sleep, the heart is stressed. This may lead to AFib. About half of patients with AFib also have sleep apnea. Preventing sleep apnea makes AFib treatments (medicine and surgeries) more effective.

Download: A Closer Look At Sleep Apnea And Afib

There are several smart (electronic) devices on the market today that can help indicate the presence of AFib or other abnormal heartbeats.

Download: Be Smart with Your Heart: Smart Devices and AFib

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken or increase in size (hypertrophy), often in an uneven way. The thickened walls may become stiff and this can reduce the amount of blood taken in and pumped out to the body with each heartbeat.

Download: Genetic Counseling for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when an electrical issue causes your heart to stop beating and pumping blood suddenly. The lack of blood flow to the brain and other organs can cause a person to lose consciousness, become disabled, or die if not treated immediately.

Download: Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Last updated on August 07, 2023

Keep Exploring

Heart Rhythm Disorders
Millions of people experience irregular or abnormal heartbeats, called arrhythmias, at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they are harmless and happen in healthy people free of heart disease. However, some abnormal heart rhythms can be serious or even deadly. Having other types of heart disease can also increase the risk of arrhythmias.
Pediatrics and Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
This section is for pediatric patients and families living with heart rhythm disorders and heart rhythm disorders related to congenital heart disease (CHD).
Early Warning Signs
If you are experiencing a racing, pounding, rumbling or flopping feeling in your chest or if you have been fainting, having repeated dizzy spells, feeling lightheaded or you are extremely fatigued, it's time to see a doctor to discuss your heart health.
Common Treatments
Learning about the underlying cause of any heart rhythm disorder provides the basis for selecting the best treatment plan. Information and knowledge about care options, and their risks and benefits help you work with your health care provider to make the best choices.
Since other heart disorders increase the risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms, lifestyle changes often are recommended. Living a “heart healthy” lifestyle can ease the symptoms experienced with heart rhythm disorders and other heart disorders, and can be beneficial to overall patient health.
The Normal Heart
The heart is a fist-sized muscle that pumps blood through the body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without rest. The normal heart is made up of four parts: two atria on the top of the heart (right atrium and left atrium), and two ventricles (right ventricle and left ventricle) which are the muscular chambers on the bottom of the heart that provide the major power to pump blood.