What does the acronym ACS stand for?

Medical abbreviations help with care

Bremen (rd_de) - With the introduction of standardized care concepts, the number of so-called memory aids has increased rapidly. APGAR, SAMP-LE (R) and, last but not least, the ABCDE scheme are likely to be well-known medical abbreviations. Each letter stands for a symptom or characteristic. But there are many more acronyms that can help an emergency paramedic, paramedic, or paramedic not to overlook important things during an emergency.

International medical abbreviations

This supports, for example, the first time you approach the patient AVPU scheme the emergency services. It is used to assess the level of alertness. A stands for "alert", which means that the patient is awake and responsive. Any findings that are less favorable than "alert" should prompt the helpers to look for the reasons.

In the AVPU scheme, V stands for "verbal response", which means that the patient only reacts to loud speech. P means "painful stimuli". The patient only reacts to pain stimuli. And U is synonymous with “unresponsive”, i.e. not addressable.

In emergency situations in particular, it is important to take the anamnesis quickly. Important details must not be forgotten. There are several medical abbreviations here, for example SAMPLE (R) and OPQRST.

At SAMPLE (R) it starts with "signs and symptoms". A reminds the rescue worker to ask about possible allergies. The M question asks about medications that are taken regularly by the patient. "Past medical history" (P), the patient's medical history, provides information about illnesses he has suffered, previous operations, injuries or a possible pregnancy. The L - “last oral intake” - is also important because the helper uses it to inquire about the last food intake. What remained were the "events prior to illness / injury" (E), i.e. events or actions that the patient performed when the symptoms began, and "risk factors" (R). This includes risk factors such as previous illnesses, nicotine and alcohol consumption, but also family history.

While SAMPLE (R) asks for the past, it helps OPQRST in the process of better assessing the current symptoms or pain.

In OPQRST, the letter O stands for "onset" - the beginning or outbreak of a disease. For example, the rescue personnel can find out whether the complaints occurred suddenly or slowly. Behind P are “provocation” and “palliation”. This asks, on the one hand, what aggravates (provokes) the symptoms, and on the other, what alleviates them. Q stands for "quality". The point here is to ask what kind of pain is, for example (stabbing, burning, cramp-like ...). R is reminiscent of "radiation" and is intended to help find out exactly where the pain is. "Severity" is behind the S of OPQRST and translates as "severity". This describes how severe the pain or discomfort is. The T (time) finally clarifies how long the complaints have existed.

DCAP-BTLS is one of the medical abbreviations used to detect injuries during patient examination. DCAP-BTLS stands for:

• Deformities
• Contusions (bruises)
• Abrasions
• Penetrations (entry wounds)
• Burns
• Tenderness (sensitivity)
• Lacerations (tear wound)
• swelling

Medical abbreviations: an overview

ABCDE (Emergency Patient Assessment Scheme)
AEIOU-TIPS (causes of impaired consciousness)
APGAR (Newborn Assessment)
AVPU (assessment of the level of consciousness)
BONES (indicator of difficult mask ventilation)
CARDIO (beta-mimetic effects on the heart)
CIAMPEDS (anamnesis collection of child emergencies)
DCAP-BTLS (indications of injuries)
DOPE (evidence of inadequate ventilation or oxygenation in intubated patients)
FAST (recognition of initial stroke symptoms)
LEMON (indicators of difficult intubation)
MONA (therapy scheme at ACS)
OPQRST (assessment of current complaints or pain)
PERRL (assessment of the pupils)
SMASHED (assessment of acute changes in neurological status)
SNOT (initial assessment of altered neurological status)
TICLS (Pediatric Appearance Assessment; Pediatric Assessment Triangle)
TICS (indications of injuries)

In the Rescue Magazine, issue 2/2012, you will find explanations of the abbreviations mentioned here. You can find the digital edition here.

(Text: Thomas Semmel, emergency paramedic, lecturer in the rescue service, ERC educator and ALS instructor; symbol photo: Markus Brändli; last updated: 07.06.2018)[1012]