If you've ever had your heart skip a beat, you might know what atrial fibrillation feels like. Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disturbance also known as arrhythmia. It causes the rapid beating—almost quivering—of the heart’s two upper chambers, the right and left atria.
However, this quivering isn't forceful enough to efficiently move blood out of the upper chambers of the heart to the lower chambers of the heart. Almost 2.7 million Americans live with atrial fibrillation.
Abnormal blood flow has two negative consequences. First of all, stagnation of blood in the left atrium can cause a blood clot. When a clot moves from the heart to the brain, a patient can have a stroke. Patients with atrial fibrillation can also feel unwell, tired, short of breath, and unfocused.