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Early to Bed and Early to Rise

JAMA. 1973;225(12):1527-1528. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220400053014.
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Fatal arrhythmias early in myocardial infarction have alerted physician and layman to the urgency of prompt hospitalization when this condition is suspected. Assured that a hospital bed is impatiently waiting for him, the patient is urged to call an ambulance—a mobile coronary unit, if available —in order to reach the hospital at the earliest possible moment. This may mean the difference between life and death.

No such dramatic alternatives face the patient about to be discharged from the hospital. No quick decisions are called for to determine the date of discharge. Cost of stay, demand for hospital beds, and the patient's health want consideration. Clearly, expense and availability of beds militate against a prolonged stay. But what about the health factor? How soon can a patient with an uncomplicated myocardial infarction leave his hospital bed without endangering his life?

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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