The Breathless Patient - When to Worry

The causes of dyspnoea are varied – this case-study based seminar examines the common cardiac and pulmonary causes of breathlessness, exploring differential diagnosis, and multidisciplinary management strategies. This seminar is accredited with the RACGP for 40 Cat1 points and 14 Cat2 points, as well as ACRRM for 30 PDP points and eligible for 1 day Rural Procedures Grant funding under the Emergency Component.

Program Overview and Learning Outcomes

Program Overview

  • Cardiac causes of dyspnoea
    • Echo and electrocardiographs and other diagnostic tools
    • Differential diagnosis with a focus on chronic heart failure
  • Pulmonary causes of dyspnoea
    • Spirometry and other diagnostic tools
    • Differential diagnosis with a focus on COPD and asthma

Learning Outcomes

After participating in this seminar, general practitioners will be able to:

  • Describe the most common differential diagnoses for patients who present with acute or chronic breathlessness.
  • Instigate appropriate investigations based on clinical symptoms and patient history.
  • Develop a multidisciplinary management plan for the breathless patient, incorporating both pharmacological and non pharmacological therapies for optimal outcomes.
  • Treat patients using knowledge of the latest treatment strategies for the most common causes of chronic breathlessness: congestive heart failure, asthma and COPD.
  • Identify when referral is required, particularly red flags for urgent referral, to ensure patient safety.

Locations and dates

Sydney – 4 March 2017

Melbourne – 18 March 2017

Brisbane – 25 March 2017

Agenda

Introduction

Case study introduction: this seminar will centre around a series of case studies developed for “Alan” – a 59 year old patient who presents with shortness of breath.
The seminar explores differential diagnoses and management options of the most common cardiac and pulmonary aetiologies.

Session One

Acute onset and chronic dyspnoea. A systematic approach to assessing the breathless patient – cardiac causes

Strategies and clinical signs to determine the cause of a patient’s breathlessness – patient history, diagnostic tests (which one and when), Ruling out non-cardiac causes, Identifying red flags for urgent management

Session Two

Cardiac investigations and diagnosis

Practical session on the interpretation of results
Electrocardiographs and echocardiographs and the role of nuclear medicine and other investigations

Session Three

Management of dyspnoea – Cardiac causes

Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of:
Congestive heart failure
Cardiomyopathy

Session Four

Acute onset and chronic dyspnoea. A systematic approach to assessing the breathless patient – respiratory causes

Strategies and clinical signs to determine the cause of a patient’s breathlessness – patient history, diagnostic tests (which one and when),
Ruling out non-respiratory causes
Identifying red flags for urgent management

Lunch

Lunch

Session Five

Pulmonary investigations and diagnosis

Practical session on the interpretation of results
X-rays, spirometry and other investigations

Session Six (part 1)

Management of dyspnoea – respiratory causes

Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management:
Infective causes
Asthma (severe and chronic)
Pulmonary embolus
Pulmonary hypertension

Session Six (part 2)

Management of dyspnoea – respiratory causes

Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management:
COPD

Optional CPR refresher

Optional CPR refresher (Melbourne finish time 7:00pm)

Steering Committee

Supported by an independent education sponsorship

998