Chest pain units

Although risk is low in patients selected for admission to a CPU, it is not negligible. Contemporary CPUs (also known as chest pain observation units, chest pain emergency units, and chest pain evaluation units) provide an integrated approach to the patient with chest pain that affords: (1) early identification of clinical risk and (2) further risk stratification of low-risk patients to identify those who require admission and those who can be discharged [8-15,21]. CPUs vary in form and may either occupy a designated structural area or function as virtual units comprising primarily personnel and process. Close coordination between ED physicians and cardiologists is an essential element for successful functioning of the unit. The strategy is based on a protocol-driven process that uses current standards of care for efficient and timely treatment in conformity with the guidelines of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) [25] as depicted in Fig. 1.

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