Respiratory Emergencies | Part Two | Assessment & Findings

Assessment Findings: Major focus is recognizing life-threats

  • Altered mental status
  • Severe cyanosis
  • Absent breath sounds
  • Stridor
    • 1-2 word dyspnea
  • Tachycardia>120/min
  • Pallor, diaphoresis
  • Use of accessory muscles
  • Focused History
    • Ever had this before, known pulmonary problems, ever been intubated,
    • Medications, changes in medications
    • Possible toxic exposures
  • General Impression, evaluate the following
    • Position- tripod position = moderately severe respiratory distress
    • Mentation
    • Ability to speak
    • Respiratory Effort
    • Skin color and appearance
  • Vital Signs: obtain baseline vitals, Pulse, BP, Respiratory rate/patterns
  • Head and Neck: pursed lips breathing, JVD, sputum suggests infection
  • Chest: symmetry, trauma, barrel chest (COPD), retractions
  • Extremities: carpopedal spasm = low CO2 levels
  • Diagnostic testing: Pulse Ox, Peak flow, Capnometry (end of ET tube) R

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