New blood test could save precious time and resources at emergency rooms and hospitals.
A new blood test requiring only one blood sample, could help doctors determine if a patient is having a heart attack sooner, saving valuable time and resources, says a report on businessinsider.com.
The findings from a two-part study show that the blood test, based on its predecessors, is used to measure the level of proteins known as troponins. These proteins are released into the bloodstream when the heart is damaged.
Normally, doctors will monitor the levels of troponin over a period of six to twenty-four hours, and if they are in the normal range after that period, it is unlikely that a heart attack is occurring.
The new test has greater sensitivity to troponins, and the study shows that patients with a level below 5 nanograms per liter (ng/L) have a 99.6 percent chance they will not have a heart attack within the following thirty days.
The study involves 4,870 emergency room visitors in Scotland complaining of symptoms of a heart attack, who were administered the high-sensitivity blood test developed by Abbott Laboratories. From those blood tests, the scientists evaluated the level of troponins in the blood to try to determine what level would indicate a eminent heart attack.
It was found that 3,799 of those tested did not have a heart attack, and in those individuals, 61 percent had troponin levels below 5 ng/L.