Exercise Tests: A Survey of Procedures, Safety, and Litigation Experience in Approximately 170,000 Tests

Paul Rochmis, Henry Blackburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


This report surveys the techniques, safety and litigation experience of 170,000 exercise stress tests performed in 73 medical centers. Procedures and results varied but certain patterns emerged: (1) A medical history was required before testing in 89% of centers, a physical examination in 97%, and a resting electrocardiogram in 57%. (2) Active cardiac disease precluded testing. (3) Informed consent was sought in 75% and was required in written form in 30%. (4) Specific test-interruption criteria involved symptoms, signs, and ECG findings. (5) Progressive workloads were employed by 73%. (6) Full resuscitation facilities were available. (7) The mortality was about 1 per 10,000 tests (16 per 170,000). (8) Combined mortalitymorbidity was about 4 per 10,000 tests. (9) Mortality was not clearly related to type of test. (10) Successful litigation, with an out-of-court settlement was reported in one instance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1066
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 23 1971

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ThisreportwassponsoredbytheTech¬ nical Group on Exercise Electrocardiogra- phyandsupportedbytheHeartDisease andStrokeControlProgram,Public Health Service (contract grant PH 86-68- 170,TechnicalGrouponExerciseElectro- cardiography).Itsothermemberswere GunnarBlomquist,RobertBruce,Samuel FoxIII,AlvinFreiman,WilliamHaskell, LarryJackson,EugeneLepeschkin,Rob¬ ertE.Mason,PenttiRautaharjuandL. ThomasSheffield. Partial support was also giventhroughPublicHealthServicegrant HE-06314totheUniversityofMinnesota CardiovascularClinicalResearchPro¬


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