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Charity Recognises Doctors from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton for their Pioneering Work to Reduce Misdiagnosis

Charity Recognises Doctors from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton for their Pioneering Work to Reduce Misdiagnosis

Date of release: 27 July 2021 

In a new report, STARS Healthcare Pioneers Report - Showcasing Best Practice in Syncope 2021, the charity STARS highlights the innovative and inspiring work that Dr Nasrin Khan (New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK) and colleagues (including Dr Sanjiv Petkar) are doing to improve the care for people who are experiencing episodes of transient loss of consciousness (including syncope aka fainting). Additionally, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK, has been recognised as a STARS Syncope Centre of Excellence. People with syncope/fainting are often misdiagnosed, misunderstood, and mismanaged when in fact all too often there is an underlying potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder.

Latest News: Charity recognises doctors from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton


In the Syncope Pioneers Report, Khan et al outline how close collaboration between cardiologists and neurologists can improve the accuracy of diagnosis for people with transient loss of consciousness (TLoC). They note: “A high proportion (at least 25%) of patients with syncope were initially referred to a neurologist led First Seizure Clinic, following which they were appropriately redirected to cardiology. This referral pattern causes unnecessary delay in assessment, diagnosis and treatment and only increases patient anxiety and distress, while wasting scarce NHS resources.” To read the complete case study, visit Wolverhampton Syncope Pioneers.

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of STARS, says: “The diagnosis and management of syncope and syncope-related conditions continue to be challenging — far too many people with syncope wait months, or even years, for an accurate diagnosis and do not receive the care they need. Therefore, we are delighted to showcase the work of Dr Khan and colleagues for finding innovative ways to ensure people with syncope are diagnosed early and are managed appropriately.”

Syncope, or fainting, is often caused by low blood pressure, dehydration, or underlying heart rhythm issues. A major issue is misdiagnosis, with studies suggesting people with syncope are often misdiagnosed as having epilepsy — this not only means that they are potentially receiving treatments, such as anticonvulsants, that they do not need, but also means that they are not receiving the treatments they do need.1 Specifically if the epilepsy masks cardiac syncope, a person could have a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia and, therefore, are not being protected against sudden cardiac death. For more information about syncope and syncope-related conditions, visit: www.stars-international.org

For a copy of the report, to speak to Trudie Lobban MBE or Dr Petkar, please email: d.powell@heartrhythmalliance.org

Alternatively, the report can be downloaded from Syncope Pioneers.

***ENDS***

Notes to Editor

  • 1. STARS (Syncope Trust and Reflex anoxic Seizures) is the leading patient advocacy organisation providing guidance and information on syncope, a common cause of unexplained blackouts or faints. STARS aims to ensure that anyone with unexplained loss of consciousness receives timely and accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, support, and direction to appropriate medical professionals: www.stars-international.org

References

  • 1. Ziadi A, Clough P, Cooper P, Scheepers B, Fitzpatrick AP. Misdiagnosis of epilepsy: many seizure-like attacks have a cardiovascular cause. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000; 36: 181-184.
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