The management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) has changed greatly over recent years. Trial evidence encouraged clinicians to consider early invasive management in high-risk patients and this has created a large clinical burden. We instituted a comprehensive system of nurse-led diagnosis and management of ACS. In-patients are seen by a cardiac outreach nursing team and depending on their risk profile may be managed in a designated acute cardiac unit (ACU) by cardiologists. We also piloted an 'ACS clinic' where patients with higher risk are seen within two weeks of discharge. We conducted audits to assess the impact of these new services. A total of 158 consecutive patients from ACU with unstable angina or non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) were identified. The in-patient coronary angiography rate was 48%, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rate 15% and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) rate 4%. The six-month re-admission rate was 28.5%, of whom 44.4% were within one month of discharge. In-patient coronary angiography almost halved the rate of re-admission (20.0% vs. 36.6%; p=0.026). We also audited the first 12 months of the ACS clinic. The six-month re-admission rate was 14.2%, a significant reduction compared with the first audit (p=0.0002). In conclusion, the strategy of nurse-led identification and follow-up of ACS patients promotes effective use of resources and reduces re-admissions.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||British Journal of Cardiology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2009|
- Acute coronary syndromes
- Invasive management