Key Take Away for Patients:
When patients come to the Emergency Room with chest pain the main goal is to assess whether the patient is having a heart attack or at high risk for a heart attack. In either circumstance the patient will be admitted overnight for treatment and testing. Identifying low risk patients is a need, but has always been a concern because of the fear of missing someone who MIGHT be at risk and would be at risk for a heart attack or death if discharged. Strategies to identify lower risk patients who can be discharged home and then seen for out-patient testing is an elusive goal, because there is no certainty. This study discussed use of TIMI Risk score, EKG and 2 blood tests done 2 hours apart to identify lower risk patients. The negative predictive value of the diagnostic protocol was 99.7%: that means that for every 1000 considered low risk only 3 patients would be miscategorized.
TIMI Risk Score is online at http://goo.gl/vCJgh ;