DON BRINBERG, M.D.; BARBARA BERKELEY, M.D.; IRA NASH, M.D.
To the editor: A primary factor in the reduction of in-hospital mortality after myocardial infarction is the rapid recognition and subsequent treatment of arrhythmias made possible by continuous monitoring in coronary care units (1). Computers help provide rapid and reliable recognition of arrhythmias and are standardly used in cardiac monitoring (2). We describe a case in which a computer algorithm failed to recognize a life-threatening arrhythmia.
A 71-year-old man was admitted to the intensive care unit after 0.5 hours of substernal chest pain, diaphoresis, and shortness of breath. His past medical history included periods of syncope dating to May 1982.
BRINBERG D, BERKELEY B, NASH I. A Fatal Arrhythmia Undetected by a Computerized Cardiac Monitor. Ann Intern Med. ;106:326. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-106-2-326_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(2):326.
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