Systemic weakness is a common chief complaint of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED). A well thought out approach to the assessment and workup of these patients is key to diagnostic accuracy and definitive therapy.
A 40-year-old female presented to the emergency department (ED) after the acute onset of dyspnea. The patient was tachypneic with accessory muscle usage and diffuse wheezing on initial examination. Despite aggressive treatment, the patient deteriorated and was intubated. This case takes the reader through the differential diagnosis and systematic workup of a patient presenting to the ED with dyspnea and arrives at the unexpected cause for this patient’s presentation.
A 55-year-old man with type I diabetes presented to the emergency department with one month of intermittent palpitations and dyspnea. His lungs were clear to auscultation, and his chest radiograph was normal.
An eight-year-old boy presented to the emergency department for a first-time seizure. The patient had only signs of mild dehydration on physical exam and had an uneventful postictal recovery. First-time seizures in pediatric patients are often benign and require only an outpatient workup; some are dangerous.
An 18-year-old male presented to the emergency department (ED) with a complaint of severe abdominal pain for three days along with painful urination, vomiting, diarrhea and subjective fever and chills.