Duration of hospitalization in "uncomplicated completed acute myocardial infarction". An ad hoc committee review

H. J.C. Swan, Henry W. Blackburn, Roman DeSanctis, Peter L. Frommer, J. Willis Hurst, Oglesby Paul, Elliot Rapaport, Andrew Wallace, Sylvan Weinberg

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39 Scopus citations


The clinical and laboratory findings diagnostic of acute myocardial infarction include at least two of the following: (1) a history of pain consistent with myocardial ischemia, (2) electrocardiographic findings consistent with infarction, and (3) a rise in the serum level of specific cardiac enzymes. By the 4th or 5th day of illness, specific criteria can be applied to assign certain patients to a subset with "uncomplicated completed acute myocardial infarction." These criteria include the absence of evidence of (1) continuing cardiac ischemia, (2) left ventricular failure, (3) shock, (4) important cardiac arrhythmias, (5) conduction disturbances, and (6) other serious illnesses in patients with an established acute myocardial infarction. In terms of prognosis and management, patients in this subset should be regarded as substantively different from patients in other subsets. They should respond favorably to short periods of immobilization and hospitalization than those generally used. They may remain at bed rest (modified in regard to sitting and the use of a commode) for 4 days. Subsequently, mobilization with a program of progressive activity over the ensuing 5 to 10 days should reduce the duration of hospitalization to less than the current average of 17.5 to 20.8 days for patients with acute myocardial infarction. Nine to 14 days should suffice in most instances. Current and future trials may indicate that still earlier mobilization and shorter hospitalization periods can be applied to certain patient groups, but the evidence on this point is incomplete. For the individual patient, many factors will determine the optimal duration of bed rest and hospital stay. The patient's physician must consider the therapeutic benefits that may attend earlier mobilization and shorter hospitalization while weighing potential disadvantages. When the responsible physician does not regularly care for the patient, consultation with an experienced cardiologist is desirable. Patients whose condition is classified as "uncomplicated" may manifest deterioration during their illness and require assignment to a subset with a different prognosis and requiring different forms of treatment. For patients with uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction, as well as those in other subsets, absolute rules for therapy are unwise and application of broader principles by the alert physician is more likely to be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 4 1976

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thii study was supported In part by Contract PH-43-66-1333 under the Myocardial Infarction Research Program, National Heart and Lung Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda. Md. Manuscript accepted December 1. 1975.


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