15 to 16 April 2016 in Athens, Greece
Sophia Antipolis 21 March 2016: In line with current events and particularly pertinent to Greece, cardiovascular prevention in refugees and other marginalised groups is on the agenda of EuroHeartCare 2016, which will be held 15 to 16 April at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre in Athens, Greece.
EuroHeartCare is the official annual meeting of the Association of Cardiovascular Nursing & Allied Professions (ACNAP) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). This year’s meeting is held in collaboration with the Hellenic Society of Cardiovascular Nursing.
Experts will discuss the challenges and practicalities of providing preventive cardiac care in marginalised groups including refugees and Roma. “The humanitarian crisis in the Middle East highlights the difficult conditions refugees live in,” said Dr Jeroen Hendriks, ACNAP communications officer. “Journalists will hear whether cardiovascular prevention is feasible in different cultures and situations.”
Delegates from around 40 countries are set to attend the two day scientific congress. The packed programme includes 13 scientific sessions with lectures from leaders in the field. Original research will be presented in more than 200 abstracts, providing stories for the press. The scientific programme is available here.
Cutting edge cardiovascular prevention and risk reduction is the focus of a session that will report the latest news on the link between periodontal disease (also called gum disease) and cardiovascular disease. Dr Hendriks said: “Smoking, lack of physical activity, diabetes and high blood pressure are well known risk factors for heart disease. Novel targets for reducing risk will be explored in this session.”
This year’s theme is “Excellence in patient care: the heart of EuroHeartCare”. Innovative approaches to cardiovascular care will be highlighted, for example challenges in implementing psychosocial interventions, palliative care in cardiovascular disease, and nurse-led management of arrhythmias. Dr Hendriks said: “Excellence in patient care requires actively involving patients and providing patient education, and nurses have a crucial role in achieving that.”
Results of a ACNAP survey based on the launch of the Guidelines Toolkit in 2015 will be presented for the first time in full and reveal what prevents nurses from implementing clinical practice guidelines. “Nurses face a number of barriers to putting guidelines into practice,” said Dr Gabrielle McKee, programme chair of EuroHeartCare. “Whilst in some countries it is perfectly acceptable for nurses to prompt a physician to prescribe a medication that has been forgotten, for example an anticoagulant for a patient at high risk of stroke, in other countries nurses feel obliged to simply follow doctors' orders without question.”
Also on the topic of guidelines, a session on the latest in arrhythmia management will underline the implications for nurses of the 2015 ESC guidelines on the prevention on ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.
Advances in cardiac care have improved prognosis, especially for patients with heart failure. This has led to an emerging need for high quality palliative care. “Delegates and the media will discover the most up to date knowledge and practice in this developing field,” said Dr Hendriks.
Dr McKee said: “EuroHeartCare is the event of the year for cardiovascular nurses and allied professionals. Journalists should mark their calendars to get up to the minute evidence on hot topics in this exciting field.”