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Med Clin North Am. 2006 May;90(3):453-79.


Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA. shiberj@mail.ecu.edu


When evaluating a dyspneic patient in the office, a quick initial assessment of the airway, breathing, and circulation, while gathering a brief history and focused physical examination are necessary. Most often, an acute cardiopulmonary disorder, such as CHF, cardiac ischemia, pneumonia, asthma, or COPD exacerbation, can be identified and treated. Stable patients who improve can be sent home, but those in acute distress with unstable or impending unstable conditions need to be transferred emergently to definitive care. Because of the difficult logistics involved in attempting to work up an outpatient for new onset of SOB, some patients will need to be transferred to the nearest ED for a definitive diagnosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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