Better diagnostic tool for fainting patients

Redcliffe Hospital Staff Specialists Dr Jason Chan (Emergency physician) and Dr Jonathan Hunter (General Medical physician) are leading a trial to assess a new tool for identify patients at risk who present to the Emergency Department experiencing ‘syncope’ or fainting.

The trial will be carried out in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI), and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. Dr Chan was awarded a $59,804 research grant by the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) to run the trial.

Syncope is a common symptom in patients seen in the Emergency Department, with patients temporarily losing consciousness, often due to a lack of blood flow to the brain.

The causes of syncope can vary from dehydration to life-threatening heart conditions.

Using a recently published decision rule, the Canadian Syncope Risk Score, Dr Chan and the research team hope the outcomes of the study will enable them to safely and accurately determine low risk patients. This group of patients can then be discharged quickly and safely from the Emergency Department, without the need for further tests and admission to hospital.

More about this research


Pictured above: Members of the Syncope research team from left to right: A/Prof Doug Morel, Ms Helena Cooney, Dr Alan Yan, Dr Jason Chan, Dr Emma Ballard (QIMR), Dr Jonathan Hunter, Dr David Brain (AusHSI), and EMF Research Development Manager Dr Julia Hocking


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