Acute Cardiovascular Care 2019 will highlight latest advances covering heart problems

Is it better to have a heart attack while traveling or at home? Find out at Acute Cardiovascular Care 2019. The annual congress of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA), a branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), will be held 2 to 4 March at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Malaga (FYCMA) in Malaga, Spain. Explore the scientific program to see the innovations that will guide practice.

Acute cardiovascular care is the specialty of cardiology dealing with urgent problems including heart attack, cardiac arrest, and acute heart failure, where decisions can make a difference between life and death.

More than 1,000 participants from over 70 countries will come together to learn the most effective way to save the lives of acutely ill cardiac patients. As the leading scientific event for all healthcare professionals who care for acutely ill cardiac patients, the congress brings together cardiologists, intensivists, anesthesiologists, internists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, and paramedics.

Research is at the heart of the congress and more than 600 abstracts and clinical cases will be presented. Stay tuned for findings on the impact of dementia on treatment and prognosis after a heart attack, and the link between gum disease and vulnerability of coronary plaques. The top heart attack risk factor in young adults in Andalucia, where the congress is being held, will also be revealed.

Gender must be taken into account when diagnosing and treating patients with acute cardiac problems and a session is dedicated to the distinctive features of acute coronary syndromes including heart attacks in women.1 Women are around 8-10 years older than men when they have a heart attack and while they have similar symptoms as men, heart attacks without artery blockages are more common in women.

Dr Sergio Leonardi, Chairperson of the Scientific Programme, said: "Heart attacks without obstructed arteries are completely different to those with blocked vessels and require alternative treatments. When women present to the emergency department we must consider that this diagnosis is more likely."

Around 100 leading specialists will present the latest advances during more than 60 scientific sessions covering heart attacks, cardiac arrest, acute heart failure, and much more. State-of-the-art practice in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest will be covered in a dedicated session,2 with insights on the use of adrenalin in this setting from Professor Gavin Perkins, lead scientist of the PARAMEDIC 2 trial. The study found that the drug improves survival but more survivors given adrenalin had severe neurological impairment than survivors given placebo.

Research is difficult to perform in acute cardiac care and best practice is often informed by expert opinion. Acute Cardiovascular Care is the place to hear how experienced health professionals deal with common clinical problems. One session is devoted to mechanical complications of myocardial infarction, such as rapid onset of low blood pressure after a heart attack.3

Dr Leonardi said: "We have to quickly make a lot of major decisions in patients who are extremely sick, with an extremely poor prognosis, in situations where there will never be a randomized controlled trial. The solutions we learn at the congress will probably be the best evidence we will ever have."

The art of being a doctor or other member of the team working in intensive care is also part of the programme.4 Experienced clinicians will discuss how to deal with not being able to fix every patient, how to provide a better death for patients, how to communicate with shocked, distressed patients who do not understand, or refuse to understand, what is happening, and how to cope with burnout.

Dr Leonardi said: "Healthcare professionals in acute cardiac care learn the science of medicine but often, not the art. In the acute setting we often have to decide that there is nothing more we can do, the patient is going to die, and we have to manage that. Young doctors think it is a limitation to include emotion when practicing medicine but it's impossible to care for someone and not have a personal involvement. This session will show us how to turn these frustrating situations into opportunities to show our human side."

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