1. “The patient looked comfortable, so I didn’t immediately check his pulse oximetry.”
Vital signs are truly vital in these patients. Blood pressure and pulse oximetry must be checked immediately. A low pulse oximetry level requires immediate intervention with supplemental oxygen or respiratory support.
2. “I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I didn’t know how to use the ultrasound machine.”
Bedside echocardiogram is a crucial diagnostic tool to help confirm the diagnosis of heart failure. The onus is on the emergency clinician to learn to use ultrasound as a diagnostic tool for diagnosis of heart failure and other ED presentations.
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