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Choosing Blood Thinners or Left Atrial Appendage Closure

For most people with atrial fibrillation, blood thinners lower the risk of stroke. However, blood thinners (also called anticoagulants) can cause bleeding.

Some people with a very high risk might consider a procedure called left atrial appendage closure that places a device in the heart to prevent strokes.

If you have atrial fibrillation, use this Stroke and Bleeding Risk Calculator to understand if you have low, moderate, high, or very high risk for stroke.

The tool will direct you to handouts for your level of risk. Use them with your care team to help decide what treatment is right for you.  

AFib, Stroke and Bleeding Risk

If you already know your risk, these handouts explain options if you are living with atrial fibrillation and have:

   • Very high risk for stroke

   • High risk for stroke

   •  Moderate risk for stroke

   • Low risk for stroke

  • Last Edited 08/26/2021