Syncope: risk stratification and clinical decision making.
Emerg Med Pract. 2014 Apr;16(4):1-22; quiz 22-3
Authors: Peeters SY, Hoek AE, Mollink SM, Huff JS
Syncope is a common occurrence in the emergency department, accounting for approximately 1% to 3% of presentations. Syncope is best defined as a brief loss of consciousness and postural tone followed by spontaneous and complete recovery. The spectrum of etiologies ranges from benign to life threatening, and a structured approach to evaluating these patients is key to providing care that is thorough, yet cost-effective. This issue reviews the most relevant evidence for managing and risk stratifying the syncope patient, beginning with a focused history, physical examination, electrocardiogram, and tailored diagnostic testing. Several risk stratification decision rules are compared for performance in various scenarios, including how age and associated comorbidities may predict short-term and long-term adverse events. An algorithm for structured, evidence-based care of the syncope patient is included to ensure that patients requiring hospitalization are managed appropriately and those with benign causes are discharged safely.
PMID: 25105200 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]