A million people a year visit Accident and Emergency departments in the UK with concerns that they are having a heart attack. A simple blood test monitoring the levels of troponin has been available for a while, but a paper published in leading medical journal the Lancet (open access) described a quicker procedure with greater sensitivity to low concentrations of the protein. This should make it easier to confirm if someone has genuine damage to their heart or is simply experiencing chest pain.
This 2-minute BBC News clip summarises the story. It could be used in a lecture on muscle activity, e.g. to consider why troponin is released into the blood.
Test rules out heart attacks in two-thirds suffering chest pains (Guardian)
Heart attack test ‘cuts hospital stays’ (BBC)
Plus an earlier article from NICE about various troponin-based assays.