Identifying the key components and goals of the ACS Algorithm.
This ACLS Algorithm details the steps for proper management of patients experiencing Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS). ACS represents a spectrum of clinical symptoms compatible with acute myocardial ischemia and includes unstable angina, non-ST segment myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
Essentially, the ACS algorithm should be used when patients are showing signs of infraction or ischemia. There are a number of classic symptoms that suggest ACS, including:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Neck or jaw pain
- Pain radiating to the shoulders or down the arms
- Unexplained fatigue
The primary goals of ACS treatment are:
- Early recognition of ACS and STEMI
- Triage for early reperfusion therapy
- Treatment to relieve ischemia
- Prevention of major adverse cardiac outcomes (MACE)
- Treatment of acute, life-threatening complications, such as VF/pulseless VT, symptomatic bradycardias, and unstable tachycardias
For a more detailed, step-by-step description of the ACS Algorithm, see below: