A 36-year-old man named Adam Croft from the UK felt dizzy before going to bed. During his sleep, his Apple Watch warned him of a heart problem, which he was unaware of. The watch had alerted him through the night that his heart was in atrial fibrillation – a type of arrhythmia that causes a quivering or irregular heartbeat.
Adam called the UK non-life threatening emergency helpline, 111, for advice. The helpline told him to get to the emergency room within the hour, where he had two electrocardiograms to measure the electrical activity of the heart. The doctors later confirmed that he had AFib.
Adam shared his story with BBC News and Insider to raise awareness and make sure others take their symptoms seriously. He experienced symptoms such as flutterings of the heart and dizziness, but he didn’t think they were serious until his Apple Watch alerted him.
AFib can cause blot clots, stroke, and heart failure. The main symptom is a quivering heartbeat, but it can also include fatigue, shortness of breath, anxiety, weakness, faintness, and sweating. Many people with AFib have no symptoms, and their condition is only detected under physical examination.
According to the American Heart Association, AFib mostly affects older people, those with high blood pressure or heart disease, people who drink heavily, athletes, and people with other chronic conditions. Having a family member with AFib also increases a person’s chances of being diagnosed.
Since being diagnosed, Adam has been offered cardioversion, a procedure that restores a regular rhythm. In the meantime, he has been offered blood thinners because of the risk of blot clots, which can cause a stroke.
Doctors have advised him to minimize stress in his life and continue with a healthy diet and exercise. Adam said that his experience has made him more aware of what’s going on in his body and has made him better at looking out for the signs.