Search Journal-type in search term and press enter
In Memoriam
Social Media-Follow Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care on Facebook and Twitter

April 2018 Pulmonary Case of the Month

Ashely L. Garrett, MD

Mayo Clinic Arizona

Scottsdale, AZ USA


History of Present Illness

A 74-year-old woman with known chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presented to emergency department on 2/4/18 with dyspnea. She had been hospitalized at another hospital from 12/29/17 - 1/30/18 for a COPD exacerbation and health care associated pneumonia described as a cavitary pneumonia. She was treated with various doses of systemic steroids and antibiotics. Her course was complicated by atrial fibrillation with a rapid ventricular response. She eventually was discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

Past Medical History, Social History and Family History

She has a known history of COPD with an FEV1 of 22% of predicted and is on 2L/min of O2 by nasal cannula. There is also a history of:

  • Hypertension.
  • Hypercholesterolemia.
  • Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, not on anticoagulation.
  • Right 4 mm PICA aneurysm

She lives in rural Kingman, AZ with some dust and outdoor bird exposure.

Family history is noncontributory.


  • Alprazolam 0.25 mg p.o. b.i.d.
  • Symbicort two puffs inhaled b.i.d.
  • Diltiazem 120 mg p.o. q.12h
  • Disopyramide 150 mg p.o. q.6h
  • Furosemide 20 mg p.o. daily
  • Levalbuterol 0.31 mg q.6 days p.r.n.
  • Meperidine 50 mg p.r.n. pain
  • Metoprolol succinate 12.5 mg p.o. b.i.d
  • Prednisone 10 mg p.o. daily

Physical Examination

  • Vitals: BP 110/65 mm Hg, P 130 irregular beats/min, T 37° C, Respirations 20 breaths/min
  • General: Appears in mild respiratory distress
  • Lungs: Distant breath sounds
  • Heart: Irregular rhythm with distant tones
  • Abdomen: no organomegaly, masses or tendernesses
  • Extremities:  No edema

Which of the following should be done at this time? (Click on the correct answer to proceed to the second of six pages)

  1. Arterial blood gases (ABGs)
  2. Chest x-ray
  3. Electrocardiogram
  4. 1 and 3
  5. All of the above

Cite as: Garrett AL. April 2018 pulmonary case of the month. Southwest J Pulm Crit Care. 2018;16(4):174-82. doi: PDF

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>