Not everyone with chest pain needs to go to the hospital.
The number of chest pain patients presenting to the emergency department could be reduced by tens of thousands each year. Research by the Radboud University Hospital in Nijmegen shows that patients with a low risk of a heart attack can be examined at home by the emergency services without this having an adverse effect on their health.
Not everyone with chest pain needs to go to the hospital. Patients with a low risk of heart attack can be examined by home care professionals without harm to their health. This approach not only results in fewer hospital admissions, but also in millions of euros in healthcare costs.
It also saves patient hassle and it is less busy in the emergency room. Every year, ambulances transport about 200,000 people with chest pain to hospital. Once there, it turns out that 80 to 90 percent of these people do not have a heart problem. Then they can go home.
High risk of heart problems
Cardiologists at Radboud University Hospital investigated the possibility of initially examining these patients at home and only sending them if there is a high risk of a heart attack, for example. They found that hospital visits were often unnecessary because there was no heart problem.
About 900 people with chest pain participated in the study. Rescuers estimate the risk of heart problems based on symptoms, age, risk factors and an EKG. A patient with a high risk of a heart attack immediately went to the hospital. At a low risk, they analyzed the amount of troponin in the blood. This protein is released when the heart is damaged and is an indication of an impending heart attack.
Low chance of still having a heart problem
A patient with high troponin levels immediately went to the hospital. If the level was low, the patient remained at home with further instructions, such as contacting the GP. All patients were followed up to 30 days after the event and monitored for ongoing cardiac problems. It turned out that the probability of this was very small.
Doctor and researcher Joris Aarts: “Patients with a low risk of a heart attack can generally stay at home safely. That’s good news, because the ambulance ride and the hospital stay are major events. We now know that this is usually not necessary.”
This new analysis also reduces healthcare costs at the patient’s home. The researchers calculated that she saved more than 600 euros per patient if she did not have to go to the hospital.
The results of the study have been published in the European Heart Journal.
Source: Gezondheids Net
David Jackson is a highly respected health journalist and author at The Nation View. He have a background in biology and medicine, he has a deep understanding of the latest medical research and healthcare trends. He writes about a wide range of health topics, including disease prevention, health policy, and the latest medical treatments and technologies.