WASHINGTON (March 30, 2014) A simple blood test appears to be effective at ruling out heart attacks in people with chest pains who end up in emergency rooms.
A large study in Sweden found that the blood test combined with an electrocardiogram was 99 percent accurate at showing which patients could safely be sent home rather than admitted for more tests.
Chest pain sends about 15 million people to emergency rooms in the United States and Europe each year.
It usually results from anxiety, indigestion or less-serious things than a heart attack.
Knowing who can safely go home saves money and avoids harm from unnecessary tests and hospital-acquired infections.
The study was discussed Sunday at an American College of Cardiology conference in Washington.