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Assessment of cardinal respiratory symptoms at the internal medicine outpatient clinic of Suhaj Teaching Hospital

Abstract

Background

Assessment of respiratory symptoms is the cornerstone in the accurate diagnosis of various respiratory diseases.

Objective

This study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of cardinal respiratory symptoms among patients presenting to the internal medicine outpatient clinic of Suhaj Teaching Hospital.

Materials and methods

A total of 500 consecutive adult patients presenting to the internal medicine outpatient clinic of Suhaj Teaching Hospital and complaining of either respiratory or nonrespiratory symptoms were enrolled in the study. In all patients, the initial symptoms at the time of presentation, the symptoms after history taking, and the management plan were documented.

Results

The symptomatology of patients at the initial presentation to the outpatient clinic and after history taking were compared; 136 (27.2%) and 148 (29.6%) patients, respectively (P < 0.001), had pure respiratory symptoms, 332 (66.4%) and 147 (29.4%) patients, respectively (P < 0.001), had nonrespiratory symptoms, and the remaining 32 (6.4%) and 205 (41%) patients, respectively (P < 0.01), had mixed respiratory and nonrespiratory symptoms. All individual cardinal respiratory symptoms differed significantly (P < 0.001) between the initial presentation and after history taking. Of the 136 patients presenting with pure respiratory symptoms, only 27 had pure respiratory diseases after history taking, whereas of the 364 patients without pure respiratory symptoms, 325 had pure respiratory diseases. Residents were the medical personnel who took medical decision in 452 patients, specialists took the decision in 37 patients, and consultants in 11 patients. Thirty-five patients (7%) were admitted; 30 of them had pure respiratory diseases, constituting 6% of the total patients and 87.7% of the admitted patients.

Conclusion

Both respiratory symptoms and diseases are highly prevalent at the internal medicine outpatient clinics and are responsible for a large percentage of hospital admissions. Egypt J Broncho 2013 7:67–70

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Correspondence to Iman Galal Msc/MD.

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Sabour, M.AE., Galal, I. & Hassan, M. Assessment of cardinal respiratory symptoms at the internal medicine outpatient clinic of Suhaj Teaching Hospital. Egypt J Bronchol 7, 67–70 (2013). https://doi.org/10.4103/1687-8426.123999

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Keyword

  • cardinal respiratory symptom
  • chest pain
  • cough
  • dyspnea
  • expectoration
  • hemoptysis
  • wheeze