Atrial fibrillation is a common disturbance in cardiac rhythm that affects 2.7 million to 6.1 million Americans; these numbers are expected to double in the next 25 years. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in the clinical setting. Predictors of atrial fibrillation include advancing age, male sex, body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) greater than 30, systolic blood pressure greater than 160 mm Hg, hypertension treatment, PR interval greater than 160 milliseconds, significant murmur, and prevalent heart failure. Other factors that are associated with atrial fibrillation include diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, obstructive sleep apnea, and alcohol, tobacco, or drug use.

Atrial fibrillation increases morbidity and mortality for patients, and the lifetime risk for atrial fibrillation developing is 1 in 4. Acute and critical care nurses working in hospital settings provide...

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