Page of

Dyspnea 

Dyspnea
Chapter:
Dyspnea
Source:
Acute Care Casebook
Author(s):

Marko Balan

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190865412.003.0051

Acute-onset dyspnea is a common symptom of hospitalized patients. This chapter describes the diagnostic approach and evaluation, and outlines not-to-be-missed diagnoses in patients with this common complaint. Important aspects of the history and physical examination of acutely dyspneic patients is also discussed with particular emphasis on the significance and interpretation of B lines on thoracic point-of-care ultrasound. Finally, the chapter concludes with a description of the initial treatment of congestive heart failure, including medical care and considerations regarding ventilatory support. The chapter illustrates a case of a woman who presents to hospital with dehydration and weakness secondary to a urinary tract infection. The patient’s unstable and deteriorating respiratory status necessitates transfer to a monitored unit, where she is evaluated for acute-onset dyspnea and treated for congestive heart failure.

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