So your patient said they were hypotensive but now their bp is fine. What are you supposed to do now? Do you just anchor on his or her bp meds as the cause of the hypotension? In this EMEd lecture we review a systematic approach for these patients. We develop a critical differential based on the causes of shock and then we walk through the work up and the conundrum of whether to admit or dispo these patients.

In this lecture we present the approach to a patient with a chief complaint of shortness of breath. We start by reviewing the chief complaint for shortness of breath. Next we discuss how to assess for the degree of respiratory distress the patient is in. Finally we discuss how the degree of respiratory distress determines what resuscitative steps the provider will take.