Prospective validation of a clinical decision rule to identify patients presenting to the emergency department with chest pain who can safely be removed from cardiac monitoring.
CMAJ. 2017 Jan 30;189(4):E139-E145
Authors: Syed S, Gatien M, Perry JJ, Chaudry H, Kim SM, Kwong K, Mukarram M, Thiruganasambandamoorthy V
BACKGROUND: Most patients with chest pain in the emergency department are assigned to cardiac monitoring for several hours, blocking access for patients in greater need. We sought to validate a previously derived decision rule for safe removal of patients from cardiac monitoring after initial evaluation in the emergency department.
METHODS: We prospectively enrolled adults (age ≥ 18 yr) who presented with chest pain and were assigned to cardiac monitoring at 2 academic emergency departments over 18 months. We collected standardized baseline characteristics, findings from clinical evaluations and predictors for the Ottawa Chest Pain Cardiac Monitoring Rule: whether the patient is currently free of chest pain, and whether the electrocardiogram is normal or shows only nonspecific changes. The outcome was an arrhythmia requiring intervention in the emergency department or within 8 hours of presentation to the emergency department. We calculated diagnostic characteristics for the clinical prediction rule.
RESULTS: We included 796 patients (mean age 63.8 yr, 55.8% male, 8.9% admitted to hospital). Fifteen patients (1.9%) had an arrhythmia, and the rule performed with the following characteristics: sensitivity 100% (95% confidence interval [CI] 78.2%-100%) and specificity 36.4% (95% CI 33.0%-39.6%). Application of the Ottawa Chest Pain Cardiac Monitoring Rule would have allowed 284 out of 796 patients (35.7%) to be safely removed from cardiac monitoring.
INTERPRETATION: We successfully validated the decision rule for safe removal of a large subset of patients with chest pain from cardiac monitoring after initial evaluation in the emergency department. Implementation of this simple yet highly sensitive rule will allow for improved use of health care resources.
PMID: 28246315 [PubMed - in process]