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Atrial Fibrillation Management and Stroke Prevention


Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around two million people in the UK. Although the condition is not usually life threatening, it often requires treatment - especially due to the heightened risk of stroke for those with the condition.

Our Atrial Fibrillation Management and Stroke Prevention course is brand new and coming to Warwick in 2019/2020. Led by Professor David Fitzmaurice and leading primary care experts, this four-day course enables students to develop both the theory and practical skills needed to assess, diagnose and manage atrial fibrillation and how to calculate stroke risk and direct prevention.

Why study this course?

This course will give healthcare professionals the opportunity to develop detailed knowledge of the condition in order to further improve patient care.

Students will gain theoretical knowledge of pathophysiology, aetiology, epidemiology alongside assessment, diagnosis and medical and surgical management of Atrial Fibrillation and its relationship to stroke.

Practical skills will also be developed throughout the programme, focusing on undertaking ECGs and identifying and assessing heart rhythms.

Students will study at both the University of Warwick’s Medical School and in the Resuscitation and Clinical Skills department of our partner hospital, the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Who is the course aimed at?

This course is designed for clinicians in primary care who manage patients presenting with atrial fibrillation including:
  • General Practitioners
  • Practice Nurses
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Cardiologists in training
This module is also suitable for clinicians working in secondary care and clinicians working in healthcare systems outside the UK.

Course content

Day one: Epidemiology and assessment
  • Pathophysiology
  • Aetiology
  • Epidemiology - incidence and prevalance
  • Diagnosis and investigations
  • ECGs - recording an ECG, reading a 12 lead ECG, identifying heart rhythms from ECGs including sinus rhythm, bradycardias and tachycardias.
  • Echocardiograms

Day two: Detection and principles of management
  • Screening, both active and opportunistic
  • Anticoagulation
  • Managing symptoms
  • Prevention of complications such as stroke and heart failure
Day three: Anticoagulation and stroke prevention:
  • Medical and surgical management including cardioversion, ablation and left atrial appendix devices
  • Stroke risk assessment tools
  • Pharmacological management of atrial fibrillation
  • How anticoagulants work, including focus on Vitamin K antagonists and INR/Direct Oral anticoagulants (DOACs)
Day four: Comorbidities and referral
  • Heart failure management
  • Referrals to cardiologists
  • Current clinical guidelines
  • Patient perspectives
  • Case scenarios
  • Introduction to literature searching and reviewing

Teaching methods

Teaching will include lectures, demonstrations, practical workshops, facilitated small group work and case-based discussions.


Assessment is divided between 30% written examinations, formed as multiple choice questions, and 70% assessed coursework. The assessed coursework is made up of two 1,000 word structured case studies from student’s clinical practice.

This course was developed and is run independently by Warwick Medical School. However, the School gratefully receives funding from BMS-Pfizer Alliance and Bayer towards the running costs of its anticoagulation courses. Neither sponsor has any influence over content or delivery.

Key Facts


Tel: 02476 574263

Duration: Four days*
*Please note, this course may also be taken as individual CPD study days. Please contact us for further details.

Location: Warwick Medical School (University of Warwick) and the Resuscitation and Clinical Skill department, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW)

Fees: £1,500 (2019/20 intake)

Dates: To be confirmed

Registration: Online registration will be available in due course. Should you wish to register your interest for this event or require further information please email the team using the above address.

Find out more

Find out more about the course in this video with Professor David Fitzmaurice.