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Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 May;23(2):307-25, vi.

Evaluation of the acutely dyspneic elderly patient.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 110 South Paca Street, Sixth Floor, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Dyspnea is among the most frequent complaints in the elderly. The prevalence of comorbid medical conditions and the physiologic changes of aging present significant challenges in determining the cause. The initial approach to the elderly dyspneic patient mandates consideration of a broad range of diagnoses. Failure to diagnose life-threatening medical conditions presenting with dyspnea such as pulmonary embolus, acute coronary syndromes, congestive heart failure, asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumothorax, and pneumonia can lead significant morbidity and mortality. This article focuses on the rapid assessment and approach to the acutely dyspneic elderly patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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