Simple test may rule out heart attacks in ER

A simple test in the emergency department may prevent at least 20 percent of hospital admissions for chest pain, according to the lead researcher of a new Swedish study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and presented Sunday at the cardiology college's annual conference in Washington. The study showed that the blood test, combined with the usual electrocardiogram of the heartbeat, had a 99 percent accuracy rate, which allowed emergency room physicians to discharge patients rather than admit them to the hospital for observation, Nadia Bandstein, M.D., of the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm told the Associated Press. Of the 9,000 patients studied, only 15 suffered a heart attack the following month, and not one patient died, according to the AP. Article

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