CANet — Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada

Researchers develop new screening tool for fainting for ED physicians

The Canadian Syncope Risk Score will help identify patients’ risk for more serious conditions
Ottawa – CANet Investigator Dr. Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy and a team of researchers from the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have developed a nine-question screening tool to help emergency physicians determine if a patient with syncope (fainting) has symptoms of a potentially dangerous underlying condition. The study involved 4,030 syncope patients from six Canadian emergency rooms, making it the largest study of its kind. The results were published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
CANet is funding phase two of the research, which is validating and implementing the tool in emergency departments across Canada. Once validation is complete, Dr. Thiruganasambandamoorthy hopes to make the tool available online and as an app.
Every year about 140,000 patients with fainting will visit Canadian emergency departments. The ED visits cost an average of $38.5 million per year. About 10 per cent of these patients will get admitted for an average of 8 days at a cost of $127 million a year in Canada. The Canadian Syncope Risk Score will help emergency physicians provide better health care at a lower cost by discharging low-risk patients quickly and safely, and decreasing unnecessary hospitalizations.