, 15:365
Date: 19 Apr 2013

The Role of the Emergency Department in the Patient with Acute Heart Failure

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The diagnosis and management of the patient with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) presents a unique challenge to the emergency medicine (EM) physician. ADHF is one of the most common cardiac emergencies managed in the emergency department (ED). ED presentations for ADHF will grow as survival rates after myocardial infarction continue to increase and thus, the incidence and prevalence of heart failure (HF) increases. There are very little data to aid EM physicians when trying to identify low-risk patients who are safe for ED discharge and observation units are not yet universally utilized. This results in 80 % of patients with ADHF getting admitted to the hospital. The aim of this review is to evaluate current strategies for diagnosis, treatment, and disposition of the ADHF patient in the ED while highlighting new approaches for treatment and disposition, and areas in need of additional research.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Congestive Heart Failure