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Minerva Medica 2021 Jun 28

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.21.07580-7

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

How to simplify the implementation of Syncope ESC Guidelines in the Emergency Department and get on the road to achieve “zero inappropriate admissions”

Filippo NUMEROSO 1 , Ivo CASAGRANDA 2

1 Emergency Department, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy; 2: Academy of Emergency Medicine and Care (AcEMC), Pavia, Italy


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According to 2018 ESC Guidelines for syncope, the first aim in ED evaluation is to identify patients with underlying acute diseases, at higher risk of short-term adverse events; in the meantime, emergency physicians should also identify cases of hypotensive syncope elicited by non-severe concurrent conditions, as they mostly do not require hospitalization. After excluding these cases, ESC GL state that patients should be managed with initial evaluation and risk stratification, providing several tables and flow-charts to do it. To optimize ED management, authors propose to combine these two phases, as in the clinical practice they occur at the same, with the following simplified paths: patients with only clinical features suggestive of reflex syncope should be discharged, with a fast-track to an outpatient Syncope Unit only in case of severe syncope; patients with orthostatic syncope could be discharged with measures to prevent recurrences or be managed in an ED Observation Unit (EDOU) in case of fluid loss or other causes of volume depletion; patients with major clinical or ECG criteria suggestive of cardiogenic syncope should be admitted, for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes; patients with undetermined syncope or minor clinical or ECG criteria suggestive of cardiogenic syncope should be managed in an EDOU. ESC GL give focus to this novel care pathway but they do not provide clear details on the organizational aspects; accordingly, this document proposes resources and protocols for managing patients in EDOU, as a first part of the functional path of the outpatient Syncope Unit.


KEY WORDS: Syncope; Emergency department; Observation units

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