Most Australians admitted to hospital with chest pains don't actually have a heart problem

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Having a chest pain is usually a quick way to jump the queue and get admitted to hospital quickly.

However, doctors now say there should be a reassessment of the guidelines used to evaluate the severity of a patient’s condition when they experience chest pain.

In the Australian Medical Journal, the doctors say most patients with chest pain do not have a cardiac cause for their symptoms.

The researchers from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland University of Technology, Christchurch Hospital and the University of Queensland, say and the current method for assessing patients with is lengthy and requires significant resources.

Of the 926 people arriving at emergency with chest pain between November 2008 and February 2011, 11.1% (103) were diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome, while 20.8% were had other cardiovascular-related conditions and 67.2% had non-cardiac-related chest pain.

The study found the total emergency department cost for investigating the 926 patients was $904,221. Inpatient costs totalled $3.977 million.

Total length of stay was 5575.9 hours, making the average cost per hour $162. The average inpatient cost was $67 per hour.

“Further research efforts should be directed to identifying patients who could be discharged without requiring additional cardiac investigations,” the author write in the medical journal.

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