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Purpose of ACEP’s Clinical Policies

ACEP’s clinical policies provide information on the clinical management of presenting symptoms, specific illnesses or injuries. They are a product of the ACEP clinical policy development process, including expert review, and are based on the existing literature; when literature was not available, consensus of emergency physicians was used.

The information included on this Web page includes the critical questions and recommendations included with each clinical policy. All of ACEP’s Clinical Policies are available on .

These policies are not intended to be a complete manual on the evaluation and management of patients, but rather a focused examination of critical issues that have particular relevance to the current practice of emergency medicine.

It is the goal of the Clinical Policies Committee to provide an evidence-based recommendation when the medical literature provides enough quality information to answer a critical question. When the medical literature does not contain enough quality information to answer a critical question, the members of the Clinical Policies Committee believe that it is equally important to alert emergency physicians to this fact.

Recommendations offered in these policies are not intended to represent the only diagnostic and management options that the emergency physician should consider. ACEP clearly recognizes the importance of the individual physician’s judgment. Rather, this guideline defines for the physician those strategies for which medical literature exists to provide support for answers to the crucial questions addressed in this policy.