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Simple blood test rules out heart attacks quickly

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A bedside blood test done in emergency departments could help rule out heart attacks within 15 minutes, according to a preliminary study in Christchurch Hospital. About 350 patients were tested for a certain protein in their blood, which the researchers said was as accurate as the current test but doesn't require samples to be sent away for laboratory testing. It will need confirmation in larger studies, but the researchers say if it works it could help to make decisions about patient care quicker, including discharging low-risk patients.

Journal/conference: JAMA Cardiology

Organisation/s: University of Otago, Christchurch Hospital, Southern Community Laboratories, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital,

Media Release

From: JAMA

Emergency Department Blood Test May Help Rule Out Heart Attack Within 15 Minutes

A new, quick and accurate, bedside blood test done in an emergency department could help reduce the time it takes to rule out heart attacks. A preliminary study suggests a 15-minute blood test in the emergency department to measure a protein in the blood (cardiac troponin) may have similar ability to rule out a heart attack as blood tests that take longer to be measured in a laboratory. The analysis in this observational study at a single regional emergency department included about 350 patients with symptoms of a heart attack. Confirmation in larger studies is needed.

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