A summary of the medical literature published through June 10, 1968, describing coronary care units (CCUs), and a synthesis of the data on which past decisions to acquire CCUs have been based. A total of 102 papers, books, and pamphlets were reviewed. The conclusions were based primarily on information published in 16 papers that contained acceptable criteria for diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI). Valid comparisons of the gross mortality rates cannot be made between CCUs because of variations in the age and sex distribution of patients, in the incidence of complicating factors, in the mean time from onset of symptoms until admission, and in admission and length-of-stay policies. Although the data are insufficient to identify all factors (e.g., personnel training) that influence the effectiveness of a CCU, they indicate that CCUs offer better care than regular wards in the treatment of MI and that one-third of MI deaths could, potentially, be prevented by CCUs. 67 pp. Bibliog.
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