Outcomes after emergency department discharge with a primary diagnosis of heart failure

J. Eduardo Rame, Michael A. Sheffield, Daniel L. Dries, Elizabeth B. Gardner, Kathleen H. Toto, Clyde W. Yancy, Mark H. Drazner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with decompensated chronic heart failure (CHF) are frequently evaluated in emergency departments (ED). The outcomes of such patients after discharge to the outpatient setting from the ED are not well known. Risk factors for return ED visits or subsequent hospital admission after ED discharge for CHF also are not known. Methods: Charts were reviewed from all 112 patients discharged from the Parkland Memorial Hospital ED with a primary diagnosis of CHF from October to December 1998. A composite end point ("failure of outpatient therapy") was prespecified to be a recurrent ED visit for CHF, hospitalization for CHF, or death at 3 months after the index ED discharge. Results: Within 3 months of the index ED visit, 61% of the study population met the composite end point. The median time to failure of outpatient therapy was 30 days. Univariate analysis of 27 clinical and demographic variables demonstrated the respiratory rate at presentation as the only predictor of failure of outpatient therapy (P = .02). Multivariate analysis of a model with 8 prespecified variables also demonstrated respiratory rate to be the only variable independently associated with an increased risk for the composite end point (odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval 1.1-2.6, for each increase of 5 breaths/min). Conclusion There is a high rate of failure of outpatient therapy (61%) in patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of CHF from an urban county hospital ED. Increased respiratory rate on presentation to the ED may be associated with adverse outcomes after ED discharge for CH F.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican heart journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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