Emergency Medicine News

Dr. Sun Awarded NIH Research Grant

Ben Sun, MD

The Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine (CPR-EM) in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded to Benjamin Sun, MD, to study Improving Syncope Risk Stratification in Older Adults. The 5-year, $3.8M NIH grant is a multisite observational study that will develop clinical management algorithms that are safe and cost-effective.

Syncope, otherwise known as fainting, is a common problem seen in emergency departments. Because syncope may be a warning symptom of a dangerous condition, such as an abnormal heart beat, patients are often admitted for a diagnostic evaluation. However, current practice appears to have low benefit for patients and results in over $2.4 billion in annual health care costs.

This study will develop risk stratification and disposition algorithms to help clinicians to make safe and cost-effective decisions about care. Over 3,000 older adults with syncope will be enrolled at 4 EDs over a five year period. The investigators will study a multitude of clinical factors, including historical features, exam findings, laboratory tests including cardiac biomarkers, and electrocardiogram abnormalities, that will help physicians identify patients who are most likely to benefit from hospitalization.

Research is supported by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HL111033.

Dr. Sun joined OHSU in the Department of Emergency Medicine in 2011. He completed a fellowship in health services research at UCLA in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. In 2010 Dr. Sun was honored with the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Young Investigator Award. His research studies include geriatric syncope and emergency department crowding.

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