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Heart & Cardiology/Standard Protocol for Determining Out Patient Observation


I was recently transported to an ER because my throat felt like it was swelling shut and I was unable to swallow.  These symptoms lasted about 2 minutes and had subsided before EMS had arrived.  Upon arrival at the ER a 12 lead ECG was conducted and medical history was documented.  I've been receiving treatment for high blood pressure for close to 15 years now.  Father had a history of heart attacks.  I never had any chest pain or numbness anywhere on my body.  No difficulty in breathing and full alert and responsive.  The ER Physician told me the ECG was nonspecific abnormal but couldn't tell me what made it abnormal.  Blood was drawn for Troponin level testing.  The initial Troponin level came back elevated at .47. I was immediately admitted to the cardiac care unit.  About 4 hours after admission it was discovered the elevated Troponin levels were a false positive created by an equipment malfunction.  This particular hospital is saying I would have been kept at the hospital under outpatient observation even if the Troponin levels had not be elevated.  Is it typically standard practice to keep a patient in an outpatient observation status based off a nonspecific ECG and history of hypertension?

Hi Daniel,
Your throat symptoms sound more like an allergic reaction to something. Therefore, there must have been another reason for the admission than what you have told me here. Throat discomfort is sometimes a symptom of heart disease and your history of hypertension puts you at a higher risk:
You can calculate your risk:
Other than that your doctor's recommendation doesn't make sense.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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