When Should You Go to the Hospital with AFib?

When Should You Go to the Hospital with AFib
When Should You Go to the Hospital with AFib?

For atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common heart rhythm disorder, knowing when to seek medical help is essential to timely and efficient treatment.

When you have atrial fibrillation (AFib), your heart's rhythm becomes unbalanced. AFib frequently causes your heart to beat excessively quickly, but it is also possible for your heart rate to be normal or even slow while still having the condition.

You should be aware of AFib and seek treatment if necessary because it might raise your risk of stroke and other cardiovascular issues.

Your resting heart rate should, ideally, range from 60 to 100 beats per minute if you have AFib.

Try to get medical help if it continues to get faster or slower for more than a few minutes.

What is a dangerous heart rate for those with AFib?

A dangerous heart rate in AFib is influenced by several variables, including your overall health, any underlying illnesses, your age, and whether you are exhibiting symptoms.

In the context of AFib, a heart rate that is abnormally high (known as rapid ventricular response [RVR]) can be problematic and may cause hemodynamic instability.

Shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and even fainting could all be signs of hemodynamic instability, which is when your heart is beating so quickly that it compromises your blood flow and overall cardiovascular function.

Dangerous heart rates

Different heart rate thresholds that can be harmful or suggestive of potential instability are provided by medical recommendations.
  • Heart rates of more than 150 beats per minute should be taken into consideration for medical intervention, according to the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support guidelines, as this threshold is frequently linked to potential instability.
  • The European Heart Rhythm Association and the Acute Cardiac Care Association of the European Society of Cardiology recommend considering medical evaluation for heart rates greater than 120 beats per minute because they believe even lower heart rates could potentially result in instability.

On the other hand, when the heart beats too slowly, typically below 60 beats per minute, AFib patients may experience "bradycardia," a dangerously low heart rate.

Extremely low and high heart rates in AFib can both cause symptoms, pain, and perhaps life-threatening problems, highlighting the significance of receiving medical care and managing the condition.

When should you visit a hospital if your heart rate is too high?

Resting heart rates of more than 100–120 beats per minute are frequently regarded as abnormal and may require medical treatment, particularly in the presence of symptoms.

The heart rate at which you should visit the hospital, however, will vary depending on several variables, such as your general health, any underlying medical disorders, and whether you are exhibiting signs of a rapid heartbeat.

As was previously mentioned, several medical guidelines specify variable heart rate thresholds at which medical assessment should be taken into account because of possible hemodynamic instability. Depending on the recommendations, these levels are frequently between 120 and 150 beats per minute.

It's crucial to remember that symptoms play a crucial role. It's best to see a doctor if you also have any of the following symptoms in addition to your quick heartbeat:
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting or near-fainting episodes
  • severe chest pain or discomfort
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • confusion or altered mental state

What is a safe heart rate for those with AFib?

The range of a healthy resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

Depending on whether a person with AFib is resting, exercising, or experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, or exhaustion, the heart rate at which they are deemed safe may change.

In general, a medical expert can work with you to establish a target heart rate that strikes a compromise between symptom relief and safety if you have AFib and a persistently high resting heart rate.

In one study, a large sample of participants who were already in AFib at the start of the trial were examined to see how heart rate influenced their results. They monitored these people for around 3.9 years to determine whether their baseline heart rate was associated with any adverse health developments that transpired during that time.

In a study involving 1,679 AFib patients, it was discovered that heart rate was not substantially related to heart failure hospitalisation, stroke, systemic embolism, or death. This finding raises the possibility that stable outpatients with AFib may not require stringent heart rate management.

This can be comforting for both people with AFib and medical professionals because it suggests that people with stable AFib may not need to concentrate only on aggressively reducing heart rate to avoid severe effects.


Heartbeats that are irregular and frequently fast in AFib originate in the atria, the upper chambers of the heart.

In AFib, a heart rate that is extremely rapid and irregular (RVR) raises the risk of hemodynamic instability and symptoms such as chest discomfort, breathlessness, and fainting.

Heart rates of more than 120 to 150 beats per minute are generally regarded as worrying and may require medical evaluation, especially if symptoms are present. Guidelines and recommendations differ.


Is AFib an immediate danger?

Generally not life-threatening

Can you permanently get rid of AFib?

There is no cure for persistent atrial fibrillation.

Can atrial fibrillation be cured?

No, atrial fibrillation (AFib) cannot be cured.

Can you live with AFib without treatment?

The longer persistent Afib goes without treatment, however, the harder it is to manage. 

Can I live a normal life with AFib?

People with A-fib can frequently live long, healthy lives with proper treatment.

Is AFib a permanent condition?

Because persistent Afib is progressive, it can get worse over time and perhaps last forever.

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