Coronary angioplasties might not require an overnight stay

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Typically, a patient who undergoes a coronary angioplasty is monitored overnight at the hospital just in case of complications. However, a study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that this may not be necessary for many low-risk patients. In their study of patients who underwent what s known as a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) a minimally invasive procedure used to treat blocked coronary arteries researchers found no significant difference in the rates of death or rehospitalization between those patients who were discharged on the day of the procedure and those who remained in the hospital overnight.

At the Duke University Clinical Research Institute, researchers analyzed data from over 107,000 Medicare patients, all of whom were over 65 years of age and had undergone PCI. After adjusting for differences in patient and procedure characteristics, the research team found that same-day discharge was not significantly associated with an increased risk of death or rehospitalization over a 30-day period. The authors concluded, then, that low-risk patients who undergo elective PCI do not generally need to be kept for overnight observation.

ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross agrees with the authors conclusion, emphasizing that a patient s general good health and the relatively uncomplicated nature of the procedure must be the deciding factors.