Recognizing the need for increased education and awareness of atrial fibrillation, or AFib, and AFib-related stroke, global pharmaceutical leader Boehringer Ingelheim – with United States headquarters in Ridgefield - became founding sponsor of Team AFib, a national coalition offering an array of initiatives that include educational materials, an informational website, and appearances at major events across the country.
The Team AFib alliance, launched in 2011, continues to grow. Inaugural members include StopAFib.org, National Blood Clot Alliance, National Stroke Association, Mended Hearts, VFW and Womenheart.
The Men’s Health Network joined the coalition this year, and included the TeamAFib Insight tour in coordinated health screening events at targeted NFL venues, including the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles.
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat and a common, serious form of heart arrhythmia.
Nearly 350,000 hospitalizations every year are attributed to AFib, which can contribute to congestive heart failure and other serious heart conditions.
The most serious complication of AFib is stroke, and people with AFib are nearly five times more likely to suffer a stroke than those without the condition. AFib-related strokes are nearly twice as fatal and twice as disabling as non-AFib related strokes.
Why did the company get involved? Officials point to the firm’s dedication to patient education and improving the quality of life for patients and their families. The Team AFib effort aims to educate patients about AFib, stroke risk and to provide tips and tools to help patients talk to their doctors.
Among the key initiatives:
Team AFib Insight tours: These live events provide an opportunity for patients to participate in a virtual 3D journey through the body to understand how AFib can lead to stroke. This experience puts AFib “in sight” to help people understand how AFib can lead to the formation of a clot that can break loose and travel to the brain where it has the potential to cause a stroke.
Podcasts and Webinars: A webinar and podcast series centered on areas of importance to the coalition, including how to recognize and respond quickly to stroke signs and symptoms, gaps in knowledge among patients and their healthcare providers about AFib and stroke risk and supporting loved ones with AFib.
In addition to information about AFib, diagnosing AFib and understanding stroke risk, the website provides insights from experts in Q&A form and via webcasts/podcasts, a stroke assessment tool, and the Insight Tour schedule.
The podcasts and webinars are available at https://www.teamafib.com/hear-from-experts/webinars-and-podcasts/ The Insight tour made stops during 2013 in Washington DC at a local health fair, at the VFW National Convention in Reno, and at AARP conventions in Las Vegas and Atlanta. The 2014 schedule is being finalized, and updates to the website are in the works.
Boehringer Ingelheim is a research-driven company dedicated to researching and developing, manufacturing and marketing pharmaceuticals that improve health and quality of life. The company has more than 44,094 employees in 145 affiliated companies worldwide, research and development (R&D) facilities at 12 sites in seven countries and production plants in 15 countries.