Guidelines summarize and evaluate all available evidence at the time of the writing process, on a particular issue with the aim of assisting health professionals in selecting the best management strategies for an individual patient, with a given condition, taking into account the impact on outcome, as well as the risk-benefit-ratio of particular diagnostic or therapeutic means. Guidelines and recommendations should help the health professionals to make decisions in their daily practice. However, the final decisions concerning an individual patient must be made by the responsible health professional(s) in consultation with the patient and caregiver as appropriate.
A great number of Guidelines have been issued in recent years by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) as well as by other societies and organisations. Because of the impact on clinical practice, quality criteria for the development of guidelines have been established in order to make all decisions transparent to the user. The recommendations for formulating and issuing ESC/ESA Guidelines can be found on the ESC Web Site (http://www.escardio.org/guidelines-surveys/esc-guidelines/about/Pages/rules-writing.aspx). These ESC/ESA Guidelines represent the official position of these two societies on this given topic and are regularly updated.
Guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management: The Joint Task Force on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA). Kristensen SD, Knuuti J, Saraste A, et al.,; Authors Task Force Members. Eur Heart J and Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2014 Aug 11. [Epub ahead of print]