Implanted devices (eg, pacemakers and defibrillators) provide valuable information and may be interrogated to obtain diagnostic information and to direct management. During admission to an emergency department (ED), significant time and cost are spent waiting for device manufacturer representatives or cardiologists to access the data. If ED personnel could safely interrogate implanted devices, more rapid disposition could occur, thus leading to potentially better outcomes at a reduced cost. This was a pilot study examining the feasibility of ED device interrogation.
This was a prospective convenience sample study of patients presenting to the ED with any chief complaint and who had an implantable device capable of being interrogated by a Medtronic reader. After obtaining informed consent, study patients underwent device interrogation by ED research personnel. After reviewing the device data, the physician documented their opinions of the value of data in aiding care. Patients were followed up at intervals ranging from 30 days out to 1 year to determine adverse events relating to interrogation.
Forty-four patients underwent device interrogation. Their mean age was 56 ± 14.7 years (range, 28-83), 75% (33/44) were male and 75% (33/44) were hospitalized from the ED. The interrogations took less than 10 minutes 89% of the time. In 60% of the cases, ED physicians reported the data-assisted patient care. No adverse events were reported relating to the ED interrogations.
In this pilot study, we found that ED personnel can safely and quickly interrogate implantable devices to obtain potentially useful clinical data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of patients presenting to the emergency department with acute heart failure (AHF) is challenging due to the similarity of AHF symptoms to other conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia. Additionally, because AHF is most common in an older population, the presentation of coexistent pathologies further increases the challenge of making an accurate diagnosis and selecting the most appropriate treatment. Delays in the diagnosis and treatment of AHF can result in worse outcomes and higher healthcare costs. Rapid initiation of treatment is thus necessary for optimal disease management. Early treatment decisions for patients with AHF can be guided by risk-stratification models based on initial clinical data, including blood pressure, levels of troponin, blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, B-type natriuretic peptide, and ultrasound. In this review, we discuss methods for differentiating high-risk and low-risk patients and provide guidance on how treatment decisions can be informed by risk-level assessment. Through the use of these approaches, emergency physicians can play an important role in improving patient management, preventing unnecessary hospitalizations, and lowering healthcare costs. This review differs from others published recently on the topic of treating AHF by providing a detailed examination of the clinical utility of diagnostic tools for the differentiation of dyspneic patients such as bedside ultrasound, hemodynamic changes, and interrogation of implantable cardiac devices. In addition, our clinical guidance on considerations for initial pharmacologic therapy in the undifferentiated patient is provided. It is crucial for emergency physicians to achieve an early diagnosis of AHF and initiate therapy in order to reduce morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs.
Critical Care 11/2015; 19(399). DOI:10.1186/s13054-015-1114-3 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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