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Acute Coronary Syndrome and Chest Pain - A Woman's Perspective

Introduction/Abstract : The purpose of this presentation is to provide the learner with an overview of Acute coronary syndrome (ACS).  

ACS is a new term to incorporate many diagnosis including acute myocardial infarction (AMI), ST segment elevation MI (STEMI), Non ST segment elevation MI (NSTEMI), Q and non Q wave MI, unstable angina, and acute coronary chest pain syndromes. Differentiation can be confusing. This presentation will clarify assessment, differentiating a diagnosis and review the treatment options are for each.  

Throughout the presentation an emphasis will be placed on the gender bias within this diagnosis. ACS is the leading cause of death in American females, claiming the lives of more females than males. One in every two women; or 53.5% of deaths in women, are due to cardiovascular heart disease. Ironically, women are less likely to receive fast and effective treatment for ACS than men. Women are less likely to have a timely EKG, undergo coronary intervention, and even less likely to survive.  The only solution is to increase our knowledge as health care professionals in order to rapidly identify and treat. 

This program will help the learner to identify the risk factors, recognize the signs and symptoms and make a rapid diagnosis of ACS. We will review the use of diagnostic tools and give information on how to differentiate types of chest pain. We will discuss the treatment options and management of ACS taking into consideration the best options for both men and women.  Finally, we will discuss patient education required upon discharge in therapeutic lifestyle modifications and patient compliance in discharge planning and follow-up.


The target audience is broad and beneficial to all healthcare professionals, including physicians, advanced practice nurses or physician assistants, and nurses.  There are some references to pharmacology (approximately 15% of the presentation has pharmacology information).  There are no prerequisites to this program.


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