Table 2:

Serious adverse events among patients with syncope after disposition from emergency department

Serious adverse eventLocation of adverse event; no. of patients
n = 147
In hospital
n = 86
Outside hospital
n = 61
Known cause*752
Unknown cause14311
 Sinus node dysfunction18108
 New or uncontrolled atrial fibrillation707
 High-grade atrioventricular block963
 Ventricular arrhythmia15114
 Supraventricular tachycardia211
 Pacemaker insertion24213
Other cardiac
 Structural heart disease1192
 Myocardial infarction1165
 Aortic dissection110
Pulmonary embolism862
Gastrointestinal bleeding1064
  • * Patients with a known cause of death had one of the cardiac or noncardiac serious adverse events and hence are not counted toward the total number of patients with serious outcomes.

  • Multiple causes of death were reported in the medical records, with no clear indication of cause of death.

  • Includes conditions that require acute treatment or that cause a patient to return to hospital if discharged home, such as renal failure requiring dialysis, sepsis, anemia requiring transfusion, acute abdominal conditions (i.e., bowel obstruction, acute appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, acute presentation of intra-abdominal or pelvic cancer, and cholangitis), lung pathology (i.e., severe pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, and large pleural effusion), acute intracranial pathology (i.e., subarachnoid hemorrhage, posterior circulation stroke, brain tumour, brain metastasis, intracranial hemorrhage, subdural hematoma) and subclavian steal syndrome.