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Heart failure patients twice as likely to die if admitted to general wards
Date:1/17/2011

much effective test for heart failure, and a much better barometer of likely outcome than LVEF, say the authors, were only measured in 1% of patients, despite National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence recommendations.

Half the patients were admitted to cardiology wards. Compared with those managed on general wards, they tended to be younger and were more likely to be men. Those admitted to general medical wards were twice as likely to die as those admitted to cardiology wards, even after taking account of other risk factors.

While most patients, in whom discharge drug treatment was recorded, were given the appropriate medicines, only half were prescribed beta blockers. Men and younger patients were more likely to be given these drugs.

"Currently, hospital provision of care is suboptimal and the outcome of patents poor. The same rules that apply to suspected cancer should pertain to a disease with such a malign prognosis as heart failure," conclude the authors.

This means ready availability of natriuretic peptide testing, prompt referral to a specialist and appropriately trained staff to manage the condition during and after hospital admission, they say.


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Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmjgroup.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Source:Eurekalert

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