Power and Precision: The study planned to enroll 1,200 patients with 75 cases of SAH to achieve near 100 percent sensitivity with tight confidence intervals. The study included 1,153 patients with 67 SAH cases. Therefore, the study was slightly underpowered, and the lower end of the sensitivity was 94.6 percent. This is less precise than they were hoping to achieve.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 37 – No 03 – March 2018
Shared Decision Making: One unmeasured obstacle to more efficient uptake of decision aids is the engagement of patients and families in the complex discussions around diagnostic evaluations. The science of developing patient decision aids is distinct from that of validating clinical decision rules and requires both a rigorous implementation strategy and sustainable funding environments.
Bottom Line: The Ottawa SAH Rule needs external validation, a meaningful impact analysis performed, and patient acceptability of incorporating this rule into a shared decision-making instrument before being widely adopted.
The patient is not high risk by the Ottawa SAH Rule. After his HA resolves with IV metoclopramide, you explain the differential diagnosis of HA, including SAH. Your clinical gestalt is that the HA characteristics aren’t typical for SAH and more consistent with his previous tension headaches. You discuss the Ottawa SAH Rule and the fact that he has none of the high-risk criteria and his risk of SAH would be less than 1 percent. He is reassured and discharged home with instructions for follow-up.
Thank you to Christopher Carpenter, MD, MSc, of Washington University, who is the deputy editor of Academic Emergency Medicine and a faculty member of an emergency medicine and critical care course.
Remember to be skeptical of anything you learn, even if you heard it on the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine.
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