Mapping clinical journeys of Asian patients presenting to the Emergency Department with syncope: Strict adoption of international guidelines does not reduce hospitalisations.
Int J Cardiol. 2016 May 13;218:212-218
Authors: Kojodjojo P, Boey E, Elangovan A, Chen X, Tan Y, Singh D, Yeo WT, Lim TW, Seow SC, Sim TB
BACKGROUND: Limited data exists about management of syncope in Asia. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines have defined the high-risk syncope patient. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of managing syncope in an Asian healthcare system and whether strict adherence of international guidelines would reduce hospitalizations.
METHODS: Patients attending the Emergency Department of a Singaporean tertiary hospital with syncope were identified. Clinical journeys of all patients were meticulously mapped by interrogation of a comprehensive electronic medical record system and linkages with national datasets. Primary endpoint was hospitalization. Secondary endpoints were recurrent syncope within 1year and all-cause mortality. Expected admission rates based on application of ACEP/ESC guidelines were calculated.
RESULTS: 638 patients (43.8±22.4years, 49.0% male) presented with syncope. 48.9% were hospitalized for 2.9±3.2days. Yields of common investigations ranged from 0 to 11.5% and no diagnosis was reached in 51.5% of patients. Diuretics use (HR 5.1, p=0.01) and prior hospitalization for syncope (HR 6.9, p<0.01) predicted recurrent syncope. Over 2.8 SD 0.3years of follow-up, 40 deaths occurred. 24 patients who died within 12months of presentation were admitted or had a firm diagnosis upon discharge. Application of guidelines did not significantly reduce hospitalisations, with limited agreement which patients warrant admission. (Actual 376, ACEP 354, ESC 391 admissions, p=NS).
CONCLUSIONS: Unstructured management of syncope results in nearly half of patients being admitted and substantial healthcare expenditures, yet with limited diagnostic yield. Strict adoption of ACEP or ESC guidelines does not reduce admissions.
PMID: 27236117 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]