I’m breathless – is it a bad chest?

Author: Shayda Karimi / Editor: Sarah Edwards / Codes: / Published: 16/06/2023

A 78-year-old gentleman presents with a history of worsening shortness of breath over a few weeks. You review him in Emergency Department (ED) majors. His only past medical history is a maxillofacial tumour that was surgically resected a year ago. He is an ex-smoker (stopped over 20 years previously), doesnt drink alcohol and is fully independent at home.

His breathing is noisy but his chest sounds clear. His blood pressure, heart rate and temperature are within normal limits. His RR is 22, and his oxygen saturations are 94% on 40% oxygen via a venturi mask. He is alert and answering your questions appropriately. He has had a chest x-ray which does not show any large areas of consolidation.

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