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Sometimes the Cardio Ward Is Best

A new study out of England finds that, for heart-failure patients, being admitted to the general ward instead of the cardiology ward can mean death: “Half the patients were admitted to cardiology wards. Compared with those managed on general wards, they tended to be younger and were more likely to be men. Those admitted to general medical wards were twice as likely to die as those admitted to cardiology wards, even after taking account of other risk factors.” Fewer heart failure patients in general wards were given echocardiograms, but patients in both types of wards experienced “sub-optimal” care. “‘Currently, hospital provision of care is suboptimal and the outcome of patents poor. The same rules that apply to suspected cancer should pertain to a disease with such a malign prognosis as heart failure,’ conclude the authors. This means ready availability of natriuretic peptide testing, prompt referral to a specialist and appropriately trained staff to manage the condition during and after hospital admission, they say.” [%comments]