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12-bed Observation Unit opens

[August 31 2010] - For patients needing extended medical care beyond an emergency room stay but who may not need to be admitted, The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HCC) New Britain General campus has established a 12-bed medical observation unit.

The unit, which opened in June on the N3 unit, provides patients focused evaluation and management for conditions that may warrant admission, says Lou Graff, M.D., FACEP, medical director of Quality, and Emergency Department (ED) associate director.

These include patients with chest pain who may be having a heart attack; patients whose abdominal pain may be indicative of a serious condition like appendicitis; and patients with mild asthma attacks needing extended treatment.

Previously, such patients were cared for on various patient care units. Typical length of stay for HCC observation patients has been 36 hours. Observation Unit referrals most often come from the ED but may come from HCC Outpatient Clinics or a physician’s office.