New Chest Pain Evaluation Method Saves Lives, Prevents Costly HospitalizationFor Some Patients


ROCHESTER, MINN. -- Researchers at Mayo Clinic have found that some patients who visit the emergency room (ER) with chest pain can be evaluated safely and effectively in the emergency department without expensive hospitalization. The study will be published in the Dec. 23, 1998, edition of New England Journal of Medicine.

The results were so promising that Mayo Clinic converted the Chest Pain Observation Unit (CPU) into its everyday clinical practice within one month of completing the study.

The cost of chest pain is high -- in both human lives and expense. Approximately five million people in the United States visit an emergency room with acute chest pain each year. The majority of these patients are usually admitted to the hospital for two to three days at an individual cost averaging more than $4,000 and a total annual cost of $10 billion. More importantly -- because the cause of chest pain is difficult to diagnose -- an estimated six to 10,000 Americans die after inadvertently being sent home from the ER when they are actually having a heart attack.

Possibilities for broadcast and print news media include: a live news conference with the study's principal investigator that will be transmitted by audio feed; and b-roll and soundbites that will be sent by satellite video feed.

News Conference: Tues., Dec. 22, 1998 --10 a.m. CST; Baldwin Building First Floor Lecture Hall; 200 Fourth Ave. S.W.; Rochester, Minn. News media should park in the Baldwin Building Parking Ramp and take the elevators to the first floor lecture hall.

Audio Feed of News Conference: The news conference with the study's principal investigator will be available on audio feed.

Technical Information:
Tues., Dec. 22, 1998
Test: 0945-1000 (CST)
Program: 1000-1045 (CST)

To Call in Questions During the News Conference, call: 1-800-362-8351

For "Listen-only" Access to News Conference, call:

Contact: Shelly Plutowski
Mayo Clinic

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