🫀Atrial Fibrillation Triggers | Medical Mnemonics

Memory hack to NEVER FORGET the triggers for Atrial Fibrillation. A component of treating AF involves treating the underlying cause e.g. pneumonia. This often comes up in medical exams.

🔥Been here before? Test your active recall before revealing the answers!

Step 1: Recall the mnemonics name

🔐Remember the triggers for AF with: PIRATES

Step 2: Recall the components

P – Pulmonary embolism

I – Ischaemia

R – Respiratory disease

A – Atrial enlargement or myxoma

T – Thyroid disease

E – Ethanol/Excess caffeine/Electrolyte abnormalities

S – Sepsis/sleep apnoea

Step 3: Extra details

Among the most common triggers are sepsis, respiratory disease (pneumonia) and dehydration.

Excess ethanol and caffeine act as diuretics leading to dehydration and AF.

Electrolyte abnormalities such as hypomagnesaemia (low Mg) also trigger AF. The above two reasons are we we often give IV fluids and magnesium supplementation before medications to rhythm or rate control.

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