New guidelines to revolutionise patient heart care

Two Australian clinical guidelines, co-authored by Western Sydney University’s Dr Caleb Ferguson and Professor Phillip Newton, are set to revolutionise the care that patients receive for atrial fibrillation, as well as provide Australian health professionals with the latest evidence in the prevention, diagnosis and management of adults with heart failure.

Australia’s first guidelines for the diagnosis and management of adult patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) were released earlier this month by the Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). The guidelines are set, according to co-author Dr Ferguson, to have a major impact on the condition which causes a third of all strokes in Australia.  

“These guidelines have a heavy focus on integrated care, patient-centred care and shared decision making. The recommendations focus on opportunistic screening i.e. health professionals suggesting testing for AF and promise to reduce the burden of the condition and related strokes in Australia,” says Dr Ferguson from the School of Nursing and Midwifery –who also holds a conjoint appointment with Western Sydney Local Health District.

“The case often is the more you look, the more you find. Hopefully opportunistic screening will provide greater detection of AF and increase stroke prevention efforts in this high-risk population.”

Updated heart failure guidelines were also released earlier this month by the Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). These guidelines, co-authored by Professor Phillip Newton from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, are written for practising clinicians across all disciplines and are set to provide Australian health professionals with the latest evidence in the prevention, diagnosis and management of adults with heart failure.

Professor Newton says, “the guidelines not only provide the latest recommendations for heart failure but have been written to help all clinicians manage the complexity of heart failure and the comorbidities that often co-exist”.

ENDS

20 August 2018

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer