tients with ACS is quick and accurate, risk stratification is done and management is commenced as early as possible to achieve good outcomes in the short and long turn (Housholder-Hughes, 2011). The role of nurses in the management of ACS is crucial in all aspects, be it diagnosis and assessment, triage, pharmacotherapy, perioperative management, critical care, postoperative care, discharge and rehabilitation. All nurses should have evidence based knowledge so that they can make informed decisions in the management of an ACS patient.
This review aims to describe the pathophysiology, nursing diagnoses and assessment, and nursing interventions of acute coronary syndrome. Current research and articles relevant to the aforementioned topics were reviewed and analyzed in order to provide a base for evidence based practice. The literature was retrieved by performing a MEDLINE and Google/Google Scholar search on the internet combined with a manual search for journals and books pertaining to the above mentioned topics. The keywords and their combinations that were used were acute coronary syndrome, nurse, nurse practitioner, ACS, pathophysiology, diagnosis, pharmacotherapy, unstable angina, STEMI, NSTEMI, myocardial infarction, MI, management, nursing assessment, and nursing interventions.
Although, the articles identifying assessment, interventions, and their impact on the management of ACS specifically in the context of nursing are few, the guidelines targeting healthcare practitioners in general have been adapted for nurses by most authors in their recommendations.
According to Hansson (2005), deposition of atherosclerotic plaques in walls and lumens of arteries (atherosclerosis) is an inflammatory process resulting from an interaction of immune and metabolic risk factors. Acute coronary syndromes occur when reduced blood flow causes sudden myocardial ischemia. This happens when a thrombus is formed on the surface of the atherosclerotic plaque as a result of plaque