Heart Failure Emergency Care, Physician Skill Sets Explored

Professional organizations delineate physician competencies and needs for research on ER care
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The competencies required for physicians caring for heart failure and transplant patients and the need for research to better manage heart failure in emergency departments are explored in a pair of reports published in the July 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

W. Frank Peacock, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues report on the recommendations issued after a 2009 physician meeting convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to assess emergency department management of acute heart failure syndrome. The group provided recommendations on the conduct and design of clinical trials based in emergency departments; the development of improved methods for detecting acute heart failure syndrome early and monitoring the condition; and possible needs for expanding translational and applied research and biotechnology focused on acute heart failure syndrome.

In a competence statement, Gary S. Francis, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues recommend competencies for physicians who manage patients with advanced heart failure and those undergoing heart transplant. The statement addresses drug regimens, mechanical devices, pre- and post-transplant care, heart failure management in patients with congenital heart disease, and end-of-life issues. The statement was jointly issued by the American College of Cardiology Foundation, the American Heart Association, the American College of Physicians, the Heart Failure Society of America, and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

"Because these patients are often extremely complex, there was a perceived need to better define the competencies and skill sets that highly trained, specialized teams of physicians and [other] ancillary medical personnel should have to best care for them," Francis said in a statement.

The authors in both studies disclosed a wide variety of financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Abstract - Peacock
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Clinical Competence Statement

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