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Rev Esp Cardiol. 2001 Sep;54(9):1103-9.

[Chest pain units: state of the art of the management of patients with chest pain in the emergency department].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Hospital Pro-Cardíaco y Departamento de Cardiología de la Universidad Estatal de Río de Janeiro, Brasil. procep@uninet.com.br

Abstract

Chest pain is one of the most common reasons for patients coming to emergency departments. Most of these individuals end up being hospitalized due to uncertainty of the cause of their complaint. This aggressive and defensive attitude is taken by emergency physicians because some 10 to 30% of these patients actually have acute coronary syndrome. As the admission electrocardiogram and serum CK-MB level have a sensitivity of about 50% for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, serial evaluation is mandatory for non-low risk patients. Inspite of this knowledge, an average of 2-3% of patients with acute myocardial infarction are erroneously released from emergency departments, what is responsible for expensive malpractice suits in the United States. Chest Pain Units were introduced in emergency practice two decades ago to improve medical care quality, reduce inappropriate hospital discharges, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and reduce medical costs, thus making patient's assessment cost-effective. This is achieved mostly with the use of systematic diagnostic protocols by qualified and trained personnel in the emergency department setting and not in the coronary care unit.

PMID:
11762291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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