ACLS Algorithms Review: Acute Coronary Syndromes Algorithm

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
  • Nausea
  • Diaphoresis
  • Weakness
  • Palpitations
  • Neck or jaw pain
  • Pain radiating to the shoulders or down the arms
  • Unexplained fatigue

Primary Goals of ACS Treatment

  • 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:

ACS Algorithm

Additional ACLS Algorithms:

More ACLS Material:

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