A coronary care unit (CCU) was established in a community hospital without full-time medical staff or unit director. A mortality of 12.9% was observed in 70 cases of myocardial infarction during the first year of unit operation. A 36.6% mortality had occurred in 60 cases throughout the year preceding the CCU. During the first five days of hospitalization (the average length of stay in the CCU) the mortality was 4.3%. Arrhythmias were documented in 66 cases (94.3%), and the incidence of cardiac arrest was 6 of 70 cases (8.6%). Early detection and treatment of arrhythmias may reduce the incidence of cardiac arrest and the associated high mortality. The smaller community hospital can develop and effectively operate a coronary unit with gratifying results.
Langhorne WH. The Coronary Care Unit: A Year's Experience in a Community Hospital. JAMA. 1967;201(9):662–665. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130090026006
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