University of Iowa News Release
Jan. 23, 2004
UI Hospitals And Clinics To Open Chest Pain Center
Specialists at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will begin caring
for patients in a new Chest Pain Center on Monday, Jan. 26.
The Chest Pain Center will enhance the evaluation and management of chest
pain for patients at UI Hospitals and Clinics. The Emergency Treatment Center
(ETC) at UI Hospitals and Clinics, eastern Iowa's only designated Level I
Trauma Center, will house the center.
The Chest Pain Center will allow us to provide more efficient and thorough
heart care," said Stephen Scheckel, M.D., associate professor of emergency
medicine at UI Hospitals and Clinics. "By using an observation period
of approximately 8 to 12 hours, we will be better able to determine which
patients can safely go home and which patients will require hospital admission
and further cardiac testing."
In the past, patients who came to emergency departments with chest pain
were either admitted to the hospital for up to several days to have a heart
attack ruled out, or sent home. Some of those patients who were sent home
were at higher risk for complications. Studies have shown that making the
diagnosis of a heart attack when some people are first seen in an emergency
department can be very difficult. Certain groups of people, including women,
diabetics and the elderly, can have atypical symptoms. Sorting out the patients
who can safely go home versus those who need to be hospitalized for further
evaluation has been a costly and risky diagnostic dilemma.
Chest pain centers address this dilemma by providing an observation period
in the emergency department during which a standard set of tests are run
to rule out heart attack in the patient with chest pain. In addition, a
cardiac risk assessment, healthy heart education and counseling by a cardiac
rehabilitation specialist is provided. Prior to discharge, most patients
will undergo a form of provocative testing (for example, treadmill testing)
to further assess their cardiac risk.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the state of Iowa," said
Neal Weintraub, M.D., interim head of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases
in the UI Department of Internal Medicine. "Yet, patients often delay
seeking evaluation for chest pain. Hopefully, the Chest Pain Center will
increase awareness of this disease and prompt more patients to seek evaluation
when chest pain develops.
Patients will appreciate the convenience that the Chest Pain Center offers," Weintraub
added. "It is easy to locate the facility, and convenient parking
is available. Once their evaluation has been completed, most patients will
walk out of the Chest Pain Center and return immediately to normal activities,
including work, without having to undergo additional testing. Those patients
who are determined to have underlying heart disease will promptly receive
the cardiac treatment that they need."
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI
Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics
and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services
they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.
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of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009
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