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Summa’s Department of Emergency Medicine Site of NIH Funded Research Study to Examine Syncope in Older Adults  

Scott WilberThe majority of patients over the age of 60 who present to the emergency department because they experience a loss of consciousness (syncope) are admitted to be evaluated for risk of cardiac death or serious cardiac event. However, there is a lack of evidence that this work-up improves diagnostic yield, quality of life or mortality. The lack of knowledge concerning how to stratify patients into risk categories has resulted in admission policies being virtually unchanged over the last 30 years. On an annual basis, the lack of effective prediction tools to determine who should be admitted results in approximately 250,000 admissions and $2.4 billion in hospital costs in the U.S. 

Scott Wilber, M.D., and co-investigators are one of a group of researchers to receive NIH funding to study outcomes in older patients presenting to the emergency department with syncope. Data from this study will be used to develop an innovative algorithm to identify patients who would benefit from admission versus those who do not need to be admitted. This study is prospectively assessing 3,700 patients with unexplained syncope in several emergency departments across the country, including Summa Akron City Hospital. Approximately three to five patients are enrolled each week into this study at Summa Akron City Hospital.  More information on this clinical trial is available here.