A new type of blood test can determine if a person has had a heart attack in less than 20 minutes, according to a report in the journal Circulation.
The test, which has been developed by researchers from King’s College London, is twice as accurate as the one currently used by the NHS. It could allow thousands of patients to be sent home from A&E much faster than they are currently.
Researchers from King’s College London say the cMyC test could be available on the NHS within the next five years.
The researchers carried out blood tests on almost 2,000 people admitted to hospitals in Switzerland, Italy and Spain with chest pain. It correctly excluded the possibility of myocardial infarction in 32 per cent of patients, or twice as many as the troponin test, which is the current NHS standard.
Dr Tom Kaier, one of the study’s lead authors, believes that by switching to cMyC, the NHS could potentially save millions of pounds, and free up valuable bed space: ‘It is important to work out early who has had a heart attack and who hasn’t. We see patients in hospital who have to stay for further tests as a result of a mildly abnormal blood test – this is stressful and often unnecessary.’
‘Our research shows that the new test has the potential to reassure many thousands more patients with a single test, improving their experience and freeing up valuable hospital beds in A&E departments and wards across the country.’