I am
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) clinical guidelines

Guidelines for acute coronary syndromes for clinical care of patients presenting with suspected or confirmed ACS.

In 2014-15, 77,007 Australians were admitted to hospital because of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). It's estimated that ACS events in Australia will cost governments alone $1.93 billion in 2017-18.  


These clinical guidelines for acute coronary syndromes seek to provide help regarding the clinical care of patients presenting with suspected or confirmed ACS. They were published in 2016 by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.  

Practical guidance for ACS care in Australia was derived from the extensive evidence base regarding the clinical effectiveness of different interventions and treatment strategies. In addition to reviews of published trials and systematic reviews, guideline content was informed by other international clinical guidelines and local clinical expertise. 

Download the guidelines

Who can use these guidelines? 

The clinical guidelines are for practicing health care professionals across all disciplines. 

What's in the guidelines? 

  • New recommendations and key practice points incorporating new evidence that has been graded on the certainty of evidence and the likely absolute benefit versus harm. 
  • A focus on key components of the management associated with improved clinical outcomes for patients with chest pain or ACS.  
  • 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.  
  • 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 consideration affecting their long term use 
  • Guidance on the implementation of an individualised secondary prevention plan that includes both pharmacotherapies and cardiac rehabilitation  
  • The guidelines provide new assessment protocols and algorithms, including three for suspected ACS using point-of-care assay, sensitive lab-based assay and highly sensitive lab-based assay, along with treatment algorithm for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), as well as decision-making and timing considerations in reperfusion for STEMI. 

Who has endorsed the guidelines? 

  • The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) 
  • The Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) 
  • The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) 
  • The Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (IMSANZ) 
  • The Australasian Cardiovascular Nursing College (ACNC) 
  • The Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANA) 
  • The Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) 
  • The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).  

How were the guidelines developed? 

Development of these guidelines is based on evidence by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.  

A working group consisting of members of the medical community – who are leading experts in their respective fields in Australia and overseas – wrote the guidelines. Their approach to the development and consultation was to ensure appropriate stakeholder representation and engagement in the writing process. 

The development of these recommendations used GRADE methodology, which assesses the certainty of the evidence and the strength of recommendations, alongside the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) level of evidence scheme.  

Further information about the development process is available in the guidelines themselves.    

The AF guidelines are now also available on our Smart Heart Guidelines App.

 

ACS Guideline Presentations

In 2016, the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand released the Australian Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Acute Coronary Syndromes 2016.

Full presentation and summary presentation of the guidelines are available below for download and can be used to present to your colleagues or work departments.

You might also be interested in

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

Heart Health Checks have been supported by Medicare since April 2019....

Acute Coronary Syndromes tools from the guidelines

Acute Coronary Syndromes tools from the guidelines

Assessment protocols and algorithm for health care professionals...

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network is the Heart Foundation’s newsletter for health professionals delivered to your inbox once a month....

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals....

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

Have you thought about what you are getting for your children this Father’s Day?...

Atrial fibrillation clinical resources for healthcare professionals

Atrial fibrillation clinical resources for healthcare professionals

Clinical resources for healthcare professionals including algorithms and key practice points....

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

Ask the experts: caring for people with CVD during COVID-19...

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Looking for that perfect gift?

Looking for that perfect gift?

Looking for that perfect gift?

Make a donation to our Christmas Appeal on behalf of a family member or a loved one and receive a personalised eCard to let them know....

Christmas Appeal

Christmas Appeal

Christmas Appeal

Make a donation to our Christmas Appeal on behalf of a family member or a loved one and receive a personalised eCard to let them know....

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

Heart Health Checks have been supported by Medicare since April 2019....

Dinner recipes

Dinner recipes

Dinner recipes

Search our heart healthy dinner recipes for tonights main meal...

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Resources available for built environment professionals to help guide in the development of active outdoor and indoor spaces....

What is coronary heart disease?

What is coronary heart disease?

What is coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease occurs when a coronary artery clogs and narrows because of a buildup of plaque....

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's stories from around Australia...

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Discover key information on heart-healthy eating and drinking....

Fruit and nut muesli

Fruit and nut muesli

Fruit and nut muesli

15 minutes
Serves 10 (makes 1kg)

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Moving more every day is one of the best habits you can have....

Sweet potato breakfast hash

Sweet potato breakfast hash

Sweet potato breakfast hash

15 minutes
Serves 2

Cardiomyopathy; another health curveball for Ange

Cardiomyopathy; another health curveball for Ange

Cardiomyopathy; another health curveball for Ange

A story from Ange Foster ...

Smoking and tobacco regulation

Smoking and tobacco regulation

There are still more than 20,000 deaths caused by smoking every year....

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Search our lunch recipe ideas...

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

Stay connected with your research alumni community. ...

Our research stories

Our research stories

Our research stories

We fund amazing researchers who have important stories to tell...

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Heart attack recovery – quit smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Get the facts on quitting and how it can help you recover. ...

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

Q&A with Dr Shiang Lim

A new nanodrug to protect the heart from damage after heart attack...

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Having a mental health condition can have a negative impact on your heart health and increase your risk of heart disease....

One pan Greek salmon bake

One pan Greek salmon bake

One pan Greek salmon bake

30 minutes
Serves 4

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Heart Foundation recipes

Check out our recipe categories to find your next heart healthy meal....

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

Resources for healthcare professionals on the management of patients with heart failure ...

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

How to volunteer with us

How to volunteer with us

How to volunteer with us

Join our volunteers and make a difference to the heart health of Australians....

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Join the fight against heart disease....