Like clues at a crime scene, our bodies can leave important evidence to point doctors in the right direction for treatment.
With a suspected heart attack, one of those clues is the level of a protein in your bloodstream called troponin (trow-puh-nuhn).
Since late 2021, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) doctors have been using high-sensitivity troponin testing to assess people with chest pain.
The result – more patients found to have no heart damage and a low risk for a heart attack are being safely discharged home, providing more resources for patients who need to be admitted for monitoring or emergency testing, such as an angiogram. Last year, 10% more patients were safely discharged home than the previous year.
“Within three hours, we can assess a patient and if results are good, we can release them with the reassurance that there’s nothing going on and that’s a big deal,” Richard MacKenzie, MD, Senior Vice Chair, Emergency and Hospital Medicine, LVHN, says.