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Coda Change

Jun 30, 2021

Making a medical diagnosis with limited information is at the heart of emergency medicine.

Emergency physicians often have to make decisions without all of the information. 

Dr Anand Swaminathan shares a case where EMS rolled into emergency with a patient who was short of breath, hypotensive, tachycardic and hypoxic.

She had syncopized at a rehabilitation centre and by the time she got to emergency, she was seriously unwell and unable to provide much information.

Dr Swaminathan shares the steps he took in diagnosing a patient who was too sick to go for a CT scan.

His first piece of advice? Ultrasound is key.

Ideally, we all want to have diagnostic closure before prescribing medication which could be harmful, however this isn’t always possible if a patient is too sick.

So how do we make the call without a definitive diagnosis? Think about the exclusions, weigh up all the options and do what is right for the patient.

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