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Heart failure clinical guidelines

Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of heart failure.

Heart failure affects over 38 million people worldwide. In 2018, 63,099 Australians were hospitalised for heart failure and on average, seven Australians died of heart failure every day.  

Download the Heart Failure Guidelines (PDF)

About the Heart Failure Guidelines

The Australian Clinical Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection and Management of Heart Failure (2018)  seek to provide guidance regarding the clinical care of patients with heart failure in Australia – based on current evidence. They’re intended to replace the 2011 update of the Heart Foundation/Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, and Management of Chronic Heart Failure in Australia.
In addition to reviews of published trials and systematic reviews, guideline content was informed by other international clinical guidelines, and local clinical expertise.  

Who are the guidelines for? 

These guidelines have been designed for Australian healthcare professionals across all disciplines. 

What’s in the guidelines? 

  • New recommendations and key practice points on heart failure incorporating new evidence that has been graded on the certainty of evidence and the likely absolute benefit versus harm. 
  • New heart failure classifications (HFrEF vs. HFpEF) and new diagnostic algorithms. 
  • New recommendations on the management of people living with heart failure through new evidence on pharmacological management, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronisation therapy and atrial fibrillation ablation. 
  • New advice on non-pharmacological care for heart failure patients, including telephone support, nurse-led care, exercise, and palliative care. 
  • New tools and algorithms for the pharmacological management of heart failure, including Table 1.0 Medications that may cause or exacerbate chronic heart failure and Figure 1. Drivers and potential targets for treatment in heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction.  

Who endorses these guidelines? 

  • The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) 
  • The Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) 
  • The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) 
  • The Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANA) 
  • The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) 
  • The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) 
  • The Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP)and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).  

How were the guidelines developed? 

The guidelines were developed based on current evidence by the Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. The guidelines were written by members of the working group who are leading experts in their fields and highly renowned both in Australia and overseas. 
The approach to development and consultation was designed to ensure appropriate stakeholder representation and engagement in the guideline writing process. Recommendations were made using GRADE methodology to assess the certainty of evidence.  

Further information about the guideline development process can be found within the guidelines.  

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

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