I am
Show me:
Show me:
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 failure clinical tools

Heart failure clinical tools

Discover a range of heart failure tools derived from the guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, and Management of Heart Failure in Australia 2018. ...

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

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...

Cardiac rehabilitation information for health professionals

Cardiac rehabilitation information for health professionals

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

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?...

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

The Australian Guideline for Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease (2nd Edition)​....

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....

CVD & COVID-19 webinar

CVD & COVID-19 webinar

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...

Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update webinar

Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update webinar

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

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....

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Atrial fibrillation clinical guidelines

Atrial fibrillation clinical guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

These tools and algorithms are for healthcare professionals and have been developed from the Australian Clinical Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Atrial Fibrillation 2018. ...

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

The prevalence of depression is high in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Absolute CVD risk assessment is an integrated approach that estimates the cumulative risk of multiple risk factors to predict a heart attack or stroke event in the next five years....

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Clinical resources for health care professionals to improve the management of patients with heart failure. ...

Heart failure clinical factsheets

Heart failure clinical factsheets

Information about the diagnosis, classification and pharmacological management of heart failure. ...

Heart failure clinical guidelines

Heart failure clinical guidelines

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

Heart failure diagnosis and care webinar

Heart failure diagnosis and care webinar

Improving diagnosis and care for heart failure patients....

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Try our Heart Age Calculator to understand what contributes to your risk of heart disease....

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Partner with us to help us fight for Australian hearts....

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Resources for health professionals interested in physical activity....

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Cardiac rehabilitation was a turning point for Kylie and essential to her heart failure recovery....

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

Pauline is a nurse and shares advice for young people who have had a heart event or are recovering from surgery....

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

Information and FAQs about COVID-19 and heart disease....

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....

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

One of the most powerful ways to help support a future without heart disease is to include a gift to the Heart Foundation in your Will...

Our history

Our history

Our history

For more than 60 years the Heart Foundation has been helping improve heart health across the nation....

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Many different thoughts may go through your head after a heart attack and you may be presented with complicated medical info. Know where to get support. ...

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Become a Heart Foundation fundraiser and make a real difference to your community....

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

At first, it didn’t cross my mind it could be something serious. ...

Research funding programs

Research funding programs

Research funding programs

Our research funding supports outstanding researchers who share our vision of an Australia free from heart disease. ...

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

If you have a heart condition, your doctor may recommend treatment or procedures...

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Heart healthy breakfasts to start your day right...

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Honour the life of a loved one with a donation to the Heart Foundation. Your donation offers hope for Australian hearts....

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Most Australians are eating more than the recommended amounts and this can cause health problems....

Heart stories

Heart stories

Heart stories

Stories of hope from Australian men and women fighting heart disease....

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Our programs and initiatives

Our programs and initiatives

Our programs and initiatives

The Heart Foundation delivers innovative, evidence-based programs and initiatives to support and prevent heart disease in Australia...

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Resources to help manage your grant, scholarship or fellowship....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....