News Chest Pain Observation Unit Opens In UMC Brackenridge Emergency Department

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AUSTIN, Texas - (April 16, 2008) - University Medical Center at Brackenridge, a member of the Seton Family of Hospitals, has opened a Chest Pain Observation Unit for people who have chest pain but are at low risk for having a heart attack. The unit is also available to patients with heart failure, or other illnesses that require them to stay longer then the average emergency department visit.

The eight bed monitored unit is the final phase of an expansion project of the Emergency Department since Children's Hospital of Austin closed in June 2007.

"We are reducing hospital admissions and length of stay by having an observation unit. We are able to do things in 24 hours or less that in the past would have taken two or three days in the hospital. This gives us an opportunity to focus our efforts on rapid throughput because the emergency department physicians are onsite 24 hours a day," said Dr. Christopher Ziebell, Chief of Emergency Medicine, UMC Brackenridge.

"Patients who arrive at UMC Brackenridge Emergency Department with cardiac symptoms are placed in the observation unit for an extended period to be monitored," said Cindy Joy-McCoy, RN, BSN, Director, UMC Brackenridge Emergency Department.

The Unit is open 24 hours a day and is staffed by registered nurses, and clinical assistants.

UMC Brackenridge plays a unique role as the sole designated Regional Level II Trauma Center and the fourth busiest Emergency Department in the state. The center serves the 11-county Central Texas area and is the home base for STAR Flight.

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