Doctors are calling for more chest pain facilities

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Cardiologists are calling for more chest pain facilities

Some regions in Germany are insufficiently supplied with so-called chest pain units (CPU). This is reported by the German Society for Cardiology (DGK) at this year's cardiological autumn conference in Düsseldorf. To ensure adequate diagnosis and therapy of heart attack patients, additional facilities are required, especially in areas with a high death rate.

The DGK reports, fewer and fewer Germans die from a heart attack. The experts see a context here for the steadily growing and good cardiological care in Germany. Since 2000, the mortality rate for cardiovascular diseases has decreased in relative numbers by a good 20 percent. However, numerous German regions are not at all or only insufficiently provided with chest pain facilities. This is the result of the new German heart report published by the heart specialist and cardiologist Dr. Ernst Bruckenberger was introduced. In order to optimally care for patients in an emergency, in the interest of those affected, additional CPUs must be set up, above all, "where the death rate of acute heart attacks is particularly high."

The heart report revealed that in 57 and 67.9 percent of the 84 districts in which one of the 122 breast pain facilities in Germany had been set up by July of this year, the statistically adjusted death rate in the event of an acute heart attack dropped significantly in some cases. In some regions with a CPU, death rates from myocardial infarction are well below the national trend. Rates are higher in only 32.1 percent of regions with optimal breast pain facilities. However, better survival rates in the event of an infarction could also be achieved there if the CPU guidelines are regulated uniformly. A certification could check and optimize the treatment processes, as experts explained at the cardiologist conference.

Patients who suffer from chest pain, chest pressure, shortness of breath, dizziness, abdominal pain, back pain and other "typical heart attack symptoms" during an attack are admitted to a chest pain facility or CPU. To clarify whether the symptoms actually indicate an infarction or circulatory disorders in the heart, doctors can quickly and efficiently carry out special diagnostic procedures on the patient. Chest pain in particular indicates numerous serious but also harmless illnesses. In the event of a heart attack, every minute is valuable to prevent consequential damage or sudden cardiac death. (sb)

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Image: Michael Bührke /

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