Type of publication:
*Mikrou P.; *Kannivelu A.
European Journal of Pediatrics; 2016; vol. 175 (no. 11); p. 1480-1481
Background and aims Syncope is a common presentation in Paediatrics. Although cardiac syncope is rare, identifying the red flags that could signify an underlying cardiac cause (see chart 1) is an essential skill for all Paediatricians. Methods We conducted a retrospective audit of children with presentation of syncope/presyncope in our local District General Hospital. We based our standards on the Department of Health and Arrhythmia Alliance Primary Care pathway, NICE and European Society of Cardiology guidance on Transient Loss of Consciousness in young people and adults. Results A total of 33 patients were analysed, in two different subgroups: Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) group (n=23) and Outpatient group (n=10). In the PAU subgroup, only 70% of patients had a 12-lead ECG (44% had a manual QTC calculated). Family history of sudden death was not documented in 48% of cases. In the outpatient subgroup a significantly higher number of investigations were performed (100% had 12-lead ECGs, 70% Holter monitors and 30% echocardiograms). There was felt to be a selection bias (clinic being run by a Paediatrician with Cardiology expertise). Conclusions A standard operating procedure pathway was formulated to guide clinicians in the Emergency Department and PAU for the management of children presenting with syncope. Key points are that all children presenting with syncope should have a 12-lead ECG and ‘red flags’ explored in history (e.g. family history of sudden unexplained death, exercise induced symptoms, palpitations). We hope that the pathway implementation will lead to improved patient care outcomes.