MP08: Using administrative data to explore emergency department management of patients presenting with acute atrial fibrillation/flutter: Is Shock-First a more effective strategy than Drug-Shock?

B. Rowe, B. Bohlouli, C. Villa-Roel
2020 CJEM: Canadian Journal of Emergency Medical Care  
Atrial fibrillation and flutter (AFF) are the most common arrhythmias managed in the emergency department (ED). Equipoise in cardioversion strategies for patients with recent onset AFF contributes to observed practice variation. Using administrative data, the objective of this study was to explore the pattern of practice and the comparative effectiveness (outcomes and costs) between Shock-First and Drug-Shock approaches in AFF. Methods: Adult patients >17 years of age with AFF from one academic
more » ... F from one academic Canadian hospital ED were eligible. Using administrative data linkage among the National Ambulatory Care Record System, provincial practitioner claims data repository and a local hospital pharmacy database, patients who received treatment with procainamide and/or electrical cardioversion for AFF were identified. Outcomes including disposition, length of stay, revisit within 72 hours and 30-days, and ED costs were analyzed over a seven-year period. Categorical variables are reported as percentages. Continuous variables are reported as median and interquartile range (IQR). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were completed and reported as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Overall, 5,372 patients were identified with AFF; the median age was 70 years and 55% were male. The majority of patients had chronic or secondary AFF; however, in 1687 (31%) cardioversion options were employed for presumed were recent onset AFF. A Shock-First strategy was most common (1379 {82%}); 308 (18%) received a Drug-Shock approach. Discharge time was 33 minutes (95% CI: 4–63) longer in the Drug-Shock approach compared to the Shock-First approach. Hospital admissions were higher (OR = 2.33; 95% CI: 1.68, 3.24) and revisits within 30-days were lower (OR = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.54, 0.95) in the Drug-Shock group. The Shock-First strategy demonstrated marginally higher costs (median = $106 CND; 95% CI: $68.89, $144.40) in adjusted analyses. Conclusion: In patients with acute AFF, when cardioversion was attempted, a Shock-First strategy was employed 80% of the time and resulted in shorter ED length of stay and lower hospitalization; however, higher costs and ED revisits within 30-days were observed. Many factors, including physician and/or patient preferences, influence ED decision-making in patients with AFF and understanding the factors influencing these decisions requires further attention.
doi:10.1017/cem.2020.156 fatcat:2gr4dkxbtzcqhh4znui7uokruu