Intended for healthcare professionals


NICE guideline focuses on diagnosis of acute chest pain to improve outcomes

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 24 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1670
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    Anyone who might be having a heart attack or has unstable angina should undergo 12 lead electrocardiography as soon as possible, say new guidelines from the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). If patients need to be referred to hospital the result of the ECG should be sent ahead so it is there when they arrive, although recording and sending the result should not delay transfer to hospital, they say.

    The guideline on chest pain of recent onset has been jointly developed with the National Clinical Guidelines Centre for Acute and Chronic Conditions. Unlike many guidelines from NICE, the latest advice does not cover treatment for chest pain but focuses only on diagnosis, with the aim of reducing premature deaths by differentiating between people with acute coronary syndrome and those with stable angina.

    Chest pain accounts for up to 1% of visits …

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