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Reducing ACSCs
  1. Geoffrey Hughes
  1. Correspondence to Professor Geoffrey Hughes, Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia; cchdhb{at}yahoo.com

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Readers who experience acute nausea on seeing a new medical acronym will be starting to feel unwell. ACSC stands for ‘ambulatory care sensitive conditions’. In April 2012 the King's Fund published a data-briefing document on ACSCs.1 Readers can decide for themselves how much they overlap with AEC or ‘ambulatory emergency care’, the subject of an editorial in this journal in April 2011,2 the latter term originating from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (NHSIII).

AECs are acute hospital presentations that can be managed without hospital admission. ACSCs are defined as conditions for which hospital admissions can be avoided by interventions in preventive and primary care; the report lists 19 such conditions (as opposed to 49 AECs described by the NHSIII); these 19 conditions include vaccine-preventable ones (eg, influenza and pneumonia), some medical ones (eg, asthma, congestive cardiac failure, diabetic complications, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pyelonephritis) and some surgical ones (eg, perforated/bleeding ulcers, cellulitis, ENT …

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