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Atrial fibrillation or flutter (AFF) patients with renal impairment have poor long-term prognosis, but their emergency department (ED) management has not been described. We investigated the association of renal impairment upon outcomes after rate or rhythm control (RRC) including ED-based adverse events (AE) and treatment failure.
This cohort study used an electrocardiogram database from two urban centres to identify consecutive AFF patients and reviewed charts to obtain comorbidities, ED management, including RRC, prespecified AE, and treatment failure. Patients were dichotomized into a normal estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) or impaired renal function (“low eGFR”). Primary and secondary outcomes were prespecified AEs and treatment failure, respectively. We calculated 1) adjusted excess AE risk for patients with decreased renal function receiving RRC; and 2) adjusted odds ratio of RRC treatment failure.
Of 1,112 consecutive ED AFF patients, 412 (37.0%) had a low eGFR. Crude AE rates for RRC were 27/238 (11.3%) for patients with normal renal function and 26/103 (25.2%) for patients with low eGFR. For patients with low eGFR receiving RRC, adjusted excess AE risk was 13.7%. (95% CI 1.7 to 25.1%). For patients with low eGFR, adjusted odds ratio for RRC failure was 3.07. (95% CI 1.74 to 5.43)
In this cohort of ED AFF patients receiving RRC, those with low eGFR had significantly increased adjusted excess risk of AE compared with patients with normal renal function. Odds of treatment failure were also significantly increased.
Current guidelines emphasize that emergency department (ED) patients at low risk for potential ischemic chest pain cannot be discharged without extensive investigations or hospitalization to minimize the risk of missing acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We sought to derive and validate a prediction rule that permitted 20 to 30% of ED patients without ACS safely to be discharged within 2 hours without
further provocative cardiac testing.
This prospective cohort study enrolled 1,669 chest pain patients in two blocks in 2000–2003 (development cohort) and 2006 (validation cohort). The primary outcome was 30-day ACS diagnosis. A recursive partitioning model incorporated reliable and predictive cardiac risk factors, pain characteristics, electrocardiographic findings, and cardiac biomarker results.
In the derivation cohort, 165 of 763 patients (21.6%) had a 30-day ACS diagnosis. The derived prediction rule was 100.0% sensitive and 18.6% specific. In the validation cohort, 119 of 906 patients (13.1%) had ACS, and the prediction rule was 99.2% sensitive (95% CI 95.4–100.0) and 23.4% specific (95% CI 20.6–26.5). Patients have a very low ACS risk if arrival and 2-hour troponin levels are normal, the initial electrocardiogram is nonischemic, there is no history of ACS or nitrate use, age is < 50 years, and defined pain characteristics are met. The validation of the rule was limited by the lack of consistency in data capture, incomplete follow-up, and lack of evaluation of the accuracy, comfort, and clinical sensibility of this clinical decision rule.
The Vancouver Chest Pain Rule may identify a cohort of ED chest pain patients who can be safely
discharged within 2 hours without provocative cardiac testing. Further validation across other centres with consistent application and comprehensive and uniform follow-up of all eligible and enrolled patients, in addition to measuring and reporting the accuracy of and comfort level with applying the rule and the clinical sensibility, should be completed prior to adoption and implementation.
To determine the willingness of parents of children visiting a pediatric emergency department to have a physician assistant (PA) assess and treat their child and the waiting time reduction sufficient for them to choose to receive treatment by a PA rather than wait for a physician.
After describing the training and scope of practice of PAs, we asked caregivers of children triaged as urgent to nonurgent if they would be willing to have their child assessed and treated by a PA on that visit: definitely, maybe, or never. We also asked the minimum amount of waiting time reduction they would want to see before choosing to receive treatment by a PA rather than wait for a physician.
We approached 320 eligible subjects, and 273 (85.3%) consented to participate. Regarding whether they would be willing to have their child receive treatment by a PA, 140 (51.3%) respondents answered definitely, 107 (39.2%) said maybe, and 26 (9.2%) said never. Most respondents (64.1%) would choose to have their child seen by a PA instead of waiting for a physician if the waiting time reduction were at least 60 minutes (median 60 minutes [interquartile range 60 minutes]). Respondents' perception of the severity of their child's condition was associated with unwillingness to receive treatment by a PA, whereas child's age, presenting complaint, and actual waiting time were not.
Only a small minority of parents of children visiting a pediatric emergency department for urgent to nonurgent issues are unwilling to have their child treated by PAs.
To define the range of clinical conditions Canadian emergency pediatricians consider appropriate formanagement by physician assistants (PAs) and the degree of autonomy PAs should have in the pediatric emergency department (PED).
We conducted a cross–sectional, pan-Canadian survey using electronic questionnaire technology: the Active Campaign Survey tool. We targeted PED physicians using the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) network database (N = 297). Three outcome measures were assessed: demographic information, familiarity with PAs, and PA clinical roles in the PED. The level of PA involvement was assessed for 57 common nonemergent clinical conditions.
Of 297 physicians, 152 completed the survey, for a response rate of 51.2%. None of the 57 clinical categories achieved at least 85% agreement regarding PA management without direct physician involvement. Twenty-four clinical conditions had ≥ 15% agreement that any PA involvement would be inappropriate. For the remaining 33 clinical conditions, more than 85% of respondents felt that PA could appropriately manage but were divided between requiring direct and only indirect physician supervision. Respondents' selection of the number of conditions felt to be appropriate for PA involvement varied between the size of the emergency department (ED) in which they work (larger EDs 87.7–89.1% v. smaller EDs 74.2%) and familiarity with the clinical work of PAs in the ED (90.5–91.5% v. 82.2–84.7%).
This national survey of Canadian PED physicians suggests that they feel PAs could help care for a large number of nonemergent clinical cases coming to the PED, but these clinical encounters would have to be directly supervised by a physician.
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