Most patients don't carry, retain information from stent implant cards, study finds

Only 48 percent of patients receiving a heart stent, or percutaneous coronary intervention, carry the stent card given to them after their procedure, according to a survey led by researchers at Atlantic Health System's Morristown (N.J.) Medical Center. 

Stent cards contain all implantation details, but even when patients did carry their cards, most couldn't identify information about their implant, such as what type of stent they had or which blood vessel it was in, according to the research. 

The survey involved 313 patients and findings are set to be presented May 15 during the American College of Cardiology's 70th Annual Scientific Session. 

The lack of stent card use and information retention complicates care teams' decision making process, according to researchers. 

"When someone comes in for a new PCI procedure it is critical that we know the date of their earlier procedure, vessel location, size and type of stent," said Jordan Safirstein, MD, lead study author and director of transradial catheterization at Morristown Medical Center. "These are all critical factors in our decision making about new stenting." 

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess individuals' recall of stent details after PCI," study authors said. "These data demonstrate poor retention of both stent cards and critical information related to their stent, even with stent card present, highlighting the cards' failure as an effective modality to provide a durable, portable healthcare record." 

The findings highlight the opportunity to instead explore the use of a smartphone app that stores medical device information, researchers said.

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