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Eur J Emerg Med. 2017 Feb;24(1):2-12.

Disposition of emergency department patients diagnosed with acute heart failure: an international emergency medicine perspective.

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aEmergency Department, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Catalonia, 'Emergencies: Processes and Pathologies' Research Group, IDIBAPS, Barcelona bCatalonia, and ICD-SEMES Research Group, 6Instituto de investigación i+12 Research Institute and Cardiology Department, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain cDepartment of Cardiology, Division of Emergency Medicine, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum und Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany dDepartment of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus eDepartment of Medical-Surgery Sciences and Translational Medicine Emergency Department Sant'Andrea Hospital, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy fDepartment of Emergency Care, Division of Emergency Medicine, Helsinki University and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland gEmergency Medicine Research Group, Department of Emergency Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK hDepartment of Emergency Medicine and National Academic Center for Telehealth, Philadelphia, Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University iEinstein Medical Center Montgomery; Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, East Norriton, Pennsylvania jDepartment of Emergency Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan kDepartment of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana lDepartment of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas mDepartment of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University, and The Veterans Health Administration, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


Many patients with acute heart failure are initially managed in emergency departments (EDs) worldwide. Although some require hospitalization for further management, it is likely that a sizeable proportion could be safely discharged either directly from the ED or after a more extended period of management in an observation-type unit. Identification of low-risk patients who are safe for such an approach to management continues to be a global unmet need. This is driven in part by a lack of clarity on postdischarge outcomes for lower risk patients and a nonexistent consensus on what may be acceptable event rates. The current paper reviews previous studies carried out on patients directly discharged from the ED, suggests a general disposition algorithm and focuses on discharge metrics, which are based on both evidence and expert opinion. In addition, we propose that the following variables be considered for future determination of acceptable event rates: (a) baseline characteristics and risk status of the patient; (b) access to follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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