Are Geriatric Patients Placed in an Emergency Department Observation Unit on a Chest Pain Pathway More Likely Than Non-Geriatric Patients to Re-Present to the Hospital within 30 Days?
J Emerg Med. 2018 03;54(3):302-306
Authors: Gruenberg CC, Breaud AH, Liu JH, Mitchell PM, Feldman JA, Nelson KP, Kahn JH
BACKGROUND: Emergency department observation units (EDOUs) are used frequently for low-risk chest pain evaluations.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether geriatric compared to non-geriatric patients evaluated in an EDOU for chest pain have differences in unscheduled 30-day re-presentation, length of stay (LOS), and use of stress testing.
METHODS: We conducted an exploratory, retrospective, cohort study at a single academic, urban ED of all adult patients placed in an EDOU chest pain protocol from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015. Our primary outcome was any unscheduled return visits within 30 days of discharge from the EDOU. Secondary outcomes included EDOU LOS and stress testing. We used Wilcoxon non-parametric and χ2 tests to compare geriatric to non-geriatric patients.
RESULTS: There were 959 unique EDOU placements of geriatric (n = 219) and non-geriatric (n = 740) patients. Geriatric compared to non-geriatric patients had: no significant difference in unscheduled 30-day return visits after discharge from the EDOU (15.5% vs. 18.5%; p = 0.31); significantly longer median EDOU LOS (22.1 vs. 20.6 h; p < 0.01) with a greater percentage staying longer than 24 h (42% vs. 29.1%; p < 0.01). Geriatric patients had significantly fewer stress tests (39.7% vs. 51.4%; p < 0.01), more of which were nuclear stress tests (78.2% vs. 39.5%; p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: In this exploratory retrospective study, geriatric EDOU chest pain patients did not have an increased rate of re-presentation to the hospital within 30 days compared to non-geriatric patients. Geriatric patients had a longer EDOU LOS than non-geriatric patients. Geriatric patients in the EDOU had fewer stress tests, but more of those were nuclear stress tests.
PMID: 29336989 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]