Prevalence of life-threatening arrhythmias in ED patients transported to the radiology suite while monitored by telemetry

Am J Emerg Med. 2006 Oct;24(6):655-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2006.01.028.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of life-threatening arrhythmias in monitored ED patients while in the radiology suite.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis at a tertiary care hospital with an ED census of 52,000 visits. The patient population consisted of 3,051 adult ED patients with a chief complaint of chest pain, who were monitored with telemetry while they were sent to the radiology suite, and who were ultimately admitted to the hospital.

Results: Of a total of 3,051 consecutive patients with a cardiac presentation who received a nonportable chest x-ray, no patients were found to have incurred a life-threatening arrhythmia while in the radiology suite.

Conclusion: The prevalence of a cardiac arrhythmia occurring during transport or while within the radiology suite in our study was zero. We conclude that stable patients can probably be transported to radiology safely without the use of bedside telemetry.

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Patient Admission
  • Patient Transfer*
  • Prevalence
  • Radiology Department, Hospital
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Telemetry*