Netherlands heart journal : monthly journal of the Netherlands Society of Cardiology and the Netherlands Heart Foundation, 11 2 2022 Emergency Heart failure Mortality Risk Grade may help to reduce heart failure admissions. van Hattem NE, Beeres SLMA, Mertens BJA, Antoni ML, Atsma DE, Schalij MJ, den Haan MC

Hospital admissions for heart failure (HF) are frequent and pose a heavy burden on health care resources. Currently, the decision to hospitalise is based on clinical judgement rather than on prognostic risk stratification. The Emergency Heart failure Mortality Risk Grade (EHMRG) was recently developed to identify high-risk HF patients in the emergency department (ED). To assess the ability of the EHMRG to predict 30-day mortality in Dutch HF patients visiting the ED and to evaluate whether the EHMRG could help to reduce the number of hospital admissions for decompensated HF. Patients visiting the ED for decompensated HF were included. The decision to hospitalise or discharge was based on clinical judgement. The EHMRG was calculated retrospectively. Based on their EHMRG, patients were stratified as very low risk, low risk, intermediate risk, high risk and very high risk. In 227 patients (age 73 ± 12 years, 69% male) 30-day mortality was 11%. Mortality differed significantly among the EHMRG risk groups at 7‑day (p = 0.012) and 30-day follow-up (p < 0.01). Based on clinical judgement, 76% of patients were hospitalised. If decision-making had been based on EHMRG, the hospitalisation rate could have been reduced to 66% (p < 0.01), particularly by reducing hospitalisations in patients at low risk of death. Mortality in discharged patients, whether the decision was based on EHMRG or clinical judgement, was 0%. The EHMRG accurately differentiates between high- and low-risk decompensated HF patients visiting the ED, making it a promising tool to safely reduce the number of HF admissions.

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