A breathless patient

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 03 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:295
  1. Anthony Seaton, chest physician

    It was a familiar enough story in the chest clinic. A fit looking 61 year old professional man complained of shortness of breath. No chest pain, no wheeze, gradual onset, and not too bad. He had been a serious competitive oarsman until his early 50s, and he continued to train regularly on a rowing machine over 2000m. However, he sometimes noticed that he was short of breath climbing the stairs to bed. My usual approach had been careful examination, full lung function tests, ECG, blood count, a simple exercise test, and all being well, reassurance. However, in this case I dispensed with all of these save the first and the last.

    He continued exercising and feeling the need to …

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