Introduction: The modern care of suspected and confirmed acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is informed by an extensive and evolving evidence base. This clinical practice guideline focuses on key components of management associated with improved clinical outcomes for patients with chest pain or ACS. These are presented as recommendations that have been graded on both the strength of evidence and the likely absolute benefit versus harm. Additional considerations influencing the delivery of specific therapies and management strategies are presented as practice points.
Main recommendations: This guideline provides advice on the standardised assessment and management of patients with suspected ACS, including the implementation of clinical assessment pathways and subsequent functional and anatomical testing. It provides guidance on the:
- diagnosis and risk stratification of ACS;
- provision of acute reperfusion therapy and immediate post-fibrinolysis care for patients with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction;
- risk stratification informing the use of routine versus selective invasive management for patients with non-ST segment elevation ACS;
- administration of antithrombotic therapies in the acute setting and considerations affecting their long term use; and
- implementation of an individualised secondary prevention plan that includes both pharmacotherapies and cardiac rehabilitation.
Changes in management as a result of the guideline: This guideline has been designed to facilitate the systematic integration of the recommendations into a standardised approach to ACS care, while also allowing for contextual adaptation of the recommendations in response to the individual’s needs and preferences. The provision of ACS care should be subject to continuous monitoring, feedback and improvement of quality and patient outcomes.
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