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Cardiac Decision Unit

What is the Cardiac Decision Unit?

When it comes to heart attack symptoms, not all emergency rooms are alike. That's why Lee Health created our Cardiac Decision Unit (CDU), a dedicated area within HealthPark Medical Center where individuals with heart attack symptoms can be properly monitored to expedite their diagnosis and treatment.

The CDU is a 16-bed Progressive Care/Telemetry Unit. All CDU patient rooms are private and include cardiac monitoring capability.

Patients of the Cardiac Decision Unit have 24/7 access to:

  • A dedicated team of nurses certified in advanced cardiac life support or critical-care nursing;
  • Follow-up testing promptly while resting in a comfortable environment with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment readily available;
  • Care coordinators who participate in every patient's treatment plan and assist in keeping patients and companions informed throughout their stay;
  • Private treatment rooms that are large enough to accommodate visitors.

Patients arriving at the emergency department with cardiac conditions or symptoms that expect to be resolved in 12 to 36 hours may be candidates for the CDU. While in the CDU, physicians evaluate whether a patient can safely return home or whether the patient's condition requires admission to an inpatient unit to continue his/her care.

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Examples of CDU care include:

  • Observation of patients with low risk acute coronary syndrome
  • Observation of patients with cardiac diagnoses:
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Unstable angina (USA)
  • New onset arrhythmias
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Transient neurological event (stroke-like symptoms)
  • Pre-cardiac catheterization
  • Pre-open heart
  • Post diagnostic catheterizations
  • Post pacemaker/ICD implants
  • Direct admissions for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients
  • Medical overflow patients

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Technology and Expertise at Lee Health

The Lee Health CDU utilizes focused and standardized American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA), and system approved protocols, order sets, and pathways to provide services to patients within 12-36 hours that was previously provided over two to three days.

The CDU efficiently "fast track" cardiac patients through their diagnostic tests in order to get the patient discharged expeditiously or admitted for further intervention or tests.

The CDU team is trained in cardiac observation skills and advance cardiac life support (ACLS). The team collaborates with physicians, case managers, social workers, and other departments to provide efficient, quality care to all CDU patients.

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