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Papers of the Week

2020 Jan/Mar

Adv Emerg Nurs J



Management of Acute Idiopathic (Viral) Pericarditis in the Emergency Department: A Review for the Nursing Professional.


Schwier NC, Cannedy JJ, Skrepnek GH
Adv Emerg Nurs J. 2020 Jan/Mar; 42(1):17-29.
PMID: 32000187.


Acute pericarditis is an inflammatory disorder that contributes to chest pain admissions in the emergency department (ED). Nursing professionals can play a vital role in the differential, triage and management of acute pericarditis in the ED. First-line pharmacotherapy to specifically treat acute pericarditis of viral or idiopathic origin is paramount in improving patients' quality of life and reducing the risk of further recurrences of pericarditis and consists of combination therapy with aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid [ASA]) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), in combination with colchicine. Corticosteroids should not be initiated as first-line therapy in idiopathic (viral) pericarditis, as they increase the risk of recurrences. Nursing professionals are also pivotal in monitoring pharmacotherapy with respect to safety and efficacy. Overall, the nursing professional can facilitate timely administration and monitoring of medications, provide patient education, promote adherence, and assist in transitions of care for patients diagnosed with acute idiopathic (viral) pericarditis in the ED.