This paper aims to identify and review new and unproven emergency department (ED) methods for improved evaluation in cases of suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Systematic news coverage through PubMed from 2000 to 2006 identified papers on new methods for ED assessment of patients with suspected ACS. Articles found described decision support models, new ECG methods, new biomarkers and point-of-care testing, cardiac imaging, immediate exercise tests and the chest pain unit concept. None of these new methods is likely to be the perfect solution, and the best strategy today is therefore a combination of modern methods, where the optimal protocol depends on local resources and expertise. With a suitable combination of new methods, it is likely that more patients can be managed as outpatients, that length of stay can be shortened for those admitted, and that some patients with ACS can get earlier treatment.
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Funding: This work was supported by the Division of Emergency Medicine at Lund University Hospital, Region Skåne, the Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine and by Donations to the Lund University Hospital.
Competing interests: None.
This is a reprint of a paper that appeared in Emergency Medical Journal December 2007 volume 24 pages 811–14. Reprinted with kind permission of the authors and publisher.
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