New calls to prevent AF-related stroke
Arrhythmia Alliance is calling on NHS England to reconsider its ‘Commissioning through Evaluation’ (CtE) process, which has left hundreds of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at serious risk of suffering a debilitating or life-threatening AF-related stroke. The evaluation process has meant patients being denied access to potentially life-saving treatment with no guarantee when the process will be completed to allow access.
Left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) is the only treatment available to prevent an AF-related stroke in hundreds of patients in whom oral anticoagulant drugs are contra-indicated. Many of these high-risk patients who are suitable for LAAO have suffered from previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), and many have also suffered from intracranial haemorrhage or major bleeds at other sites.
Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder & Trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance said, “Many of these patients are living with a potential ticking time-bomb as they are at seriously high risk of suffering an AF-related stroke and the only treatment option open to them is LAAO”.
She added, “The cost of an LAAO as used by NHS England for CtE was £7,470 – however, the first-year cost per patient that suffers an AF-related stroke is calculated at well over £13,000. We believe it makes sense both clinically and economically for NHS England to allow this specific subpopulation of patients to receive this potentially life-saving, and life-improving technology, whilst the data evaluation is completed.”
Arrhythmia Alliance website www.heartrhythmalliance.org