Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Emergency Physicians Have Good First Instincts In Diagnosing Heart Attacks

Date:
July 28, 2008
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Emergency room doctors are correctly identifying patients who are having a heart attack, even when laboratory tests haven't yet confirmed it.

A study out of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center demonstrates emergency room doctors are correctly identifying patients who are having a heart attack, even when laboratory tests haven't yet confirmed it.

The study used data from a registry called i*trACS, and analyzed patients with heart attack symptoms who were admitted to emergency departments (EDs) in eight participating U.S. centers.

The findings were released July 24 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

"One of the most common complaints we see in the Emergency Department is chest pain," said Chadwick Miller, M.D., lead author and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. "That's why it is so important to figure out if we're doing a good job of diagnosing and treating heart attacks, or if there's a better way to do it."

The patients in the registry were divided into three groups: no myocardial infarction (No MI), non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), or evolving myocardial infarction (EMI).

The groups were determined by a blood test that measured levels of the protein troponin, which increases when the heart muscle is damaged from a heart attack.

Patients classified as No MI may have had symptoms but, according to the troponin levels throughout their hospital stay, did not actually have a heart attack. Patients classified as NSTEMI showed elevated troponin levels when first admitted, usually because their heart attack happened several hours or even days before coming to the ED. Patients classified as EMI did not initially show elevated troponin levels when presenting to the ED, but showed evidence of heart damage up to 12 hours later.

The study focused primarily on EMI patients. When a patient was admitted into the ED with heart attack symptoms, doctors at centers participating in the i*trACS registry would record their initial impressions of the symptoms exhibited by the patient. According to the results, the initial impression of the physicians showed that a higher percentage of them assigned a higher risk of heart attack to the EMI (76 percent) and NSTEMI (71 percent) patients, than the No MI (52 percent) group. As a result, the EMI patients were triaged to higher levels of care than the no MI group, despite the initial negative troponin results.

"There has been a lot of concern that clinicians either aren't spending enough time getting clinical history from patients or are not using the information they obtain," said Miller. "Patients with EMI are at particular risk for being evaluated less aggressively because their initial troponin result is normal, even though they have had a heart attack. This study suggests that although we are relying on better medical technology to diagnose patients, the clinical impression is still very important."

"It is reassuring to see that the admission patterns among the EMI patients were more aggressive than with the No MI patients, even though in both groups the patients' troponin results were not elevated. This suggests that clinicians are not allowing the non-elevated troponin results to overshadow their clinical impression."

The i*trACS registry was compiled over a period of 26 months. More than 17,000 patients were enrolled. However, only 4,136 of those patients were included in the analysis, primarily because patients had to have two troponin results within 12 hours to be included. Patients were also excluded from the i*trACS registry if they were pregnant, or under 18 years old.

The i*trACS registry was supported by an educational grant from Millenium Pharmaceuticals and Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals.

Co-investigators were James Hoekstra, M.D., also of Wake Forest; Gregory Fermann, M.D., Christopher Lindsell, Ph.D., and Brian Gibler, M.D., all from University of Cincinnati; Kenneth Mahaffey, M.D., Duke Clinical Research Institute; Frank Peacock, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Charles Pollack, M.A., M.D., and Judd Hollander, M.D., University of Pennsylvania; and Deborah B. Diercks, M.D., University of California, Davis Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Emergency Physicians Have Good First Instincts In Diagnosing Heart Attacks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724064831.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2008, July 28). Emergency Physicians Have Good First Instincts In Diagnosing Heart Attacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724064831.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Emergency Physicians Have Good First Instincts In Diagnosing Heart Attacks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724064831.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins