Jargon Buster

A condition in which the number of healthy red blood cells is too low to carry enough oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs.1

1. Mayo Clinic. Anemia. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20351360. Last accessed June 2020.

Medicines that increase the time it takes for the blood to clot, which in turn reduce the risk of getting blood clots in the blood vessels or heart and developing serious medical conditions, such as strokes and heart attacks.2,3

2. NHS. Anticoagulant medicines. Available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anticoagulants/. Last accessed February 2021.
3. BHF. Watch: What are NOACs and what do they do in your body? Available at https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/medical/drug-cabinet/novel-anticoagulants. Last accessed February 2021.

An Irregular heartbeat, which can be too slow or too quick, too early, or with an irregular rhythm.4

4. MedicalNewsToday. What to know about arrhythmia. Available at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8887. Last accessed February 2021.

Blood vessels that carry blood, rich in oxygen, from the heart to all other parts of the body.5

5. WebMD. Picture of the Arteries. Available at https://www.webmd.com/heart/picture-of-the-arteries#1. Last accessed February 2021.

When a patient has a disease, such as AF, but experiences no symptoms.6

6. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. Asymptomatic. Available at  https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/asymptomatic. Last accessed February 2021.

The upper two of the four chambers of the heart (the lower two chambers are called ventricles) − the atria receive the blood returning to the heart from the body.7,8

7. ThoughtCo. Atria of the Heart Function. Available at https://www.thoughtco.com/atria-of-the-heart-anatomy-373232. Last accessed February 2021.
8. Heart. How the Healthy Heart Works. Available at https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/congenital-heart-defects/about-congenital-heart-defects/how-the-healthy-heart-works. Last accessed February 2021.

Often referred to as AF or AFib or NVAF, is a common heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally rapid heart rhythm.9

9. Mayo Clinic. Atrial fibrillation. June 2019. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/symptoms-causes/syc-20350624. Last accessed February 2021.

A starting point or basis of comparison for something − in the case of the heart rate, baseline refers to the taking of the heart rate at it is lowest point in the day, i.e. just after waking or after a rest.10,11

10. Vocabulary.com Dictionary. Baseline. Available at https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/baseline. Last accessed February 2021.
11. Arrhythmia Alliance. Know Your Pulse Factsheet. April 2009; reviewed January 2017. Available at http://www.heartrhythmalliance.org/aa/uk/know-your-pulse. Last accessed February 2021.

A clump of blood caused by blood cells sticking together in the veins and arteries.12

12. Healthline. Blood Thinners for Heart Disease. Available at https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/blood-thinners#uses. Last accessed February 2021.

Medicines that keep blood cells from sticking together in the veins and arteries, helping blood flow smoothly through the body. Anticoagulants are a type of blood thinner.12

12. Healthline. Blood Thinners for Heart Disease. Available at https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/blood-thinners#uses. Last accessed February 2021.

Tubular structures, such as arteries and veins, that carry blood through tissues and organs.13,14

13. Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries. Blood vessel. Available at https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/blood-vessel. Last accessed February 2021.
14. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Blood vessel. Available at https://www.britannica.com/science/blood-vessel. Last accessed February 2021.

A doctor who is specialised in diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart and blood vessels.15

15. MedicalNewsToday. What is cardiology? Available at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248935. Last accessed February 2021.

A procedure that aims to restore an irregular heart rhythm back to normal by sending electric signals to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest.16

16. BHF. Cardioversion. Available at https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/treatments/cardioversion. Last accessed February 2021.

Also known as ‘cardiac ablation’, is a procedure that aims to restore an irregular heart rhythm back to normal through using either heat or extreme cold to modify tissues in the heart, which were originally causing the irregular rhythm.17

17. Mayo Clinic. Cardiac ablation. September 2019. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cardiac-ablation/about/pac-20384993. Last accessed February 2021.