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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-21

Retrospective application of the HEAR score on patients evacuated for chest pain: Assessing the utility of point-of-care troponin

1 Emergency Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK, Canada
2 Emergency Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
3 Family Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK, Canada
4 Internal Medicine, Regina Qu'appelle Health Region, Regina, SK, Canada
5 Academic Family Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, LaRonge, SK, Canada

Correspondence Address:
MD, CCFP (EM) A Kapur
Emergency Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_23_21

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Introduction: The HEART scoring system codifies the clinical gestalt used by physicians with 0–2 points assigned to 5 criteria (history, electrocardiography, age, risk factors and troponin). This scoring provides a prognostic tool that assists in disposition planning. The use of a truncated HEART score, minus the troponin data (HEAR score), was used for patients presenting with chest pain at one of four outpost nursing stations served by La Ronge Health Centre in northern Saskatchewan. These nursing stations have no onsite physician and no ability to obtain any troponin data. This study set out to determine if there was any utility in conducting point-of-care (PoC) troponins in these nursing outposts. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted using the La Ronge regional electronic medical record by searching for all patients for whom an outpost nurse had called a physician regarding chest pain symptoms between 01 January 2011 and 31 December 2016. The HEAR and HEART score were then calculated for each individual presentation of patients with chest pain that met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: By calculating both the patient's HEART score before evacuation from the outposts and after (i.e. with the troponin data), we were able to determine that, in 89.4% of cases (110/123 events), patients would require evacuation regardless of the troponin values due to a HEART score ≥4. In 10.6% (13/124 events) of cases, the patients who were evacuated had a HEART score ≤3, and in only one case did the troponin data increase this score. Conclusions: The majority of patients would continue to be evacuated regardless of the result of their PoC troponin due to an already elevated HEAR score. PoC troponin is unlikely to reduce the rate of evacuation of patients with chest pain from the nursing stations served by the La Ronge Health Centre.

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