The acute cardiology unit (ACU) cares for patients with cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) and endocrine (hormone) diseases. It consists of a 12-bed coronary care unit, a 31-bed cardiology/endocrine ward (Sacred Heart ward) and a cardiac catheterisation lab.  

Our service

The ACU is a national centre for care for people with cardiovascular disease. In 2015, we saw more 1,500 patients and carried out over 1,000 cardiac interventions.

The ACU cares for patients with cardiovascular diseases such as: 

  • Ischaemic heart disease (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris) 
  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) 
  • Heart failure  
  • Valve disease 
  • Adult congenital heart disease 

We also provide care for people who are waiting for heart transplants. 

  • Patient with cardiovascular disease may be given some of the following tests:
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) 
  • Echocardiogram 
  • Transoesophageal echocardiogram
  • Exercise stress test 

These tests are performed on Level 2 in the Whitty building.

Once discharged, patients are enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation, which is located on the hospital campus in Eccles Street. Read more about our cardiac rehabilitation service

There are a number of nurse specialist services linked with the ACU. These services care for patients with conditions such as:  

  • Heart failure 
  • Chest pain 
  • Adult congenital heart disease 
  • Sudden cardiac death screening 
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement 

Chest pain clinic

The clinic offers specialist assessment for patients who present to their GP with symptoms suggesting recent onset angina. We aim to investigate patients quickly so we can tell them if their chest pain is non-cardiac in origin. The clinic is run by a registered advanced nurse practitioner (RANP). It is supported by consultant cardiologist Dr Hugh McCann and by cardiac physiologists who perform many of the cardiac tests. 

GP referrals to the chest pain clinic can be made by contacting the RANP on 087 278 8208 or (01) 860 7036. Non-urgent referrals to the chest pain clinic can be made by post.  


The nursing teams within the ACU are highly skilled and educated. There is a focus on continuing education, with monthly educational updates available for nursing staff, as well as mandatory training and advanced cardiac life support courses. Every year, we run the postgraduate diploma in cardiovascular nursing in partnership with University College Dublin and St Vincent’s University Hospital.


Patients are referred to us from other hospitals around the country through direct contact with the cardiology team. They can also be referred by GPs or through the Emergency Department. 

GP referrals to the chest pain clinic can be made by contacting the chest pain service on the contact numbers above. Non-urgent referrals to the chest pain clinic can be made by post.  

Related services

Our consultants