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Value of Routine Cardiac Monitoring in the Management of Acute Myocardial Infarction outside a Coronary Care Unit

Br Med J 1969; 1 doi: (Published 29 March 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;1:815
  1. P. J. B. Hubner,
  2. M. J. Goldberg,
  3. C. W. Lawson


    In a coronary care unit patients and electrocardiographic monitors are under almost continuous observation by trained personnel. This paper suggests that in a general medical ward without this facility routine cardiac monitoring with E.C.G. oscilloscopes is unlikely to lower the overall mortality from acute myocardial infarction. A mortality of 25% for acute myocardial infarction was the same for a hospital without a coronary care unit where monitoring was routinely performed and for two neighbouring hospitals which did not routinely use monitoring during the period of analysis.

    The need to train personnel in the recognition of E.C.G. monitor tracings and the difficulties associated with monitor alarm systems are emphasized.