Cardiovascular examination in emergency departments
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Cardiovascular examination in emergency departments

Anna Neary Senior lecturer and emergency nurse practitioner, University of the West of England and the emergency department of the North Bristol NHS Trust
Stuart Pinson Senior lecturer in adult nursing, University of the West of England, Unscheduled care

Anna Neary and Stuart Pinson present a detailed description of the anatomy of the heart and outline examination tools that can improve diagnosis of cardiovascular disease

History taking and physical examination of patients who present with cardiac pain are not generally regarded as part of an emergency nurse’s role in the UK. However, a good knowledge of the anatomy of the heart and cardiac disease, and the ability to undertake effective cardiovascular examination, could enable nurses to highlight adverse findings earlier in a patient’s journey and improve patient outcomes. This article reviews the anatomy of the heart and cardiovascular disease, and describes how to pick out the subjective and objective information from patient histories and cardiac examination to make differential diagnoses.

Emergency Nurse. 23, 1, 32-37. doi: 10.7748/en.23.1.32.e1348


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 04 July 2014

Accepted: 17 March 2015

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