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B. A Better Way To Monitor Heart Attack Patients

Narrator: This is Science Today. Hospitalized heart attack patients do better if they are monitored with a more detailed electrocardiogram, or EKG. Researcher Barbara Drew of the University of California, San Francisco says usually an EKG with one to two views of the heart is hooked up to a patient. But Drew says it's not as beneficial as continuously using the EKG with 12 views.

Drew: Our study shows that up to 80 percent of the events that we're picking up with our new improved way of monitoring, the patient is unaware of. So, the patient doesn't have the typical symptoms of chest pain or angina that they would even be aware themselves that their heart was in jeopardy.

Narrator: The new system involves using a converter to get more views of the heart without all the cumbersome hook-ups of the standard 12-view electrocardiogram.

Drew: Within the next year or two, I think that there's going to be a real trend toward this type of monitoring and I think it will sort of revolutionize the way we monitor patients in the hospital.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.