A 32-month experience with the problems involved in the creation of a coronary care unit (CCU) and in continuous electrocardiographic monitoring showed that such a specialized area can be established in any hospital without undue structural changes or inordinately expensive equipment. While we cannot claim to have altered significantly the survival rate of patients sustaining cardiac arrest in our CCU, we did observe that the mortality rates were lower among those patients who were monitored continuously. Delay in the institution of therapy is known to constitute the greatest obstacle to successful resuscitation. Since recovery has been possible when treatment was started early, under circumstances where the likelihood of success seemed remote, the problem is not to select which cases might be revived and which are hopeless, but rather to place all patients with acute myocardial infarction during their high-risk period in an area where monitoring instruments, trained personnel, and the required therapeutic equipment are readily available.
|Number of pages
|JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
|Published - Oct 3 1966
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