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Syncope management in the UK and Republic of Ireland
  1. C J Stockley1,
  2. M E Bonney2,
  3. A J Gray2,
  4. M J Reed2
  1. 1
    University of Edinburgh, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Dr M J Reed, Department of Emergency Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; matthew.reed{at}luht.scot.nhs.uk

Abstract

Aims: To establish the current practice of emergency department (ED) management of syncope in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Methods: A survey of “major” or “intermediate” size ED in the UK and Republic of Ireland conducted by postal and telephone questionnaire.

Results: 177 (70%) ED responded. 32 (18%) ED have syncope guidelines, which are based on a range of existing guidelines. 97 ED (55%) have an observation ward or clinical decision unit and 48 (49%) of these admit syncope patients to these units. 32 ED (18%) have access to a specialist syncope outpatient clinic. This is most likely to be run by general practitioner specialists (43%) or general physicians (24%). 81% of ED felt that improved research-based guidelines would be useful when managing syncope patients.

Conclusion: The ED management of syncope patients in the UK and Republic of Ireland is varied. Only 18% of ED have specific guidelines for managing this difficult condition and only 18% have access to a specialist syncope clinic. A robust consensus UK syncope guideline is clearly required.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: MR is receiving funding from a chief scientist office research fellowship (CSO/CAF/06/01).

  • ▸ The appendix is published online only at http://emj.bmj.com/content/vol26/issue5

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