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Chief Complaint

“I have a cough that won’t go away.”

History of Present Illness

A 63-year-old male presents to the emergency department with complaints of cough/shortness of breath which he attributes to a “nagging cold.” He states he fears this may be something worse after experiencing hemoptysis for the past 3 days. He also admits to waking up in the middle of the night “drenched in sweat” for the past few weeks. When asked, the patient denies ever having a positive PPD and was last screened “several years ago.” His chart indicates he was in the emergency department last week with similar symptoms and was diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia and discharged with azithromycin.

Past Medical History

Hypertension, dyslipidemia, COPD, atrial fibrillation, generalized anxiety disorder

Surgical History

Appendectomy at age 18

Family History

Father passed away from a myocardial infarction 4 years ago; mother had type 2 DM and passed away from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm

Social History

Retired geologist recently moved from India to live with his son who is currently in medical school in upstate New York. Smoked ½ ppd × 40 years and drinks 6 to 8 beers per day, recently admits to drinking ½ pint of vodka “every few days” since the passing of his wife 6 months ago.


Sulfa (hives); penicillin (nausea/vomiting); shellfish (itching)

Home Medications

Albuterol metered-dose-inhaler 2 puffs q4h PRN shortness of breath

Aspirin 81 mg PO daily

Atorvastatin 40 mg PO daily

Budesonide/formoterol 160 mcg/4.5 mcg 2 inhalations BID

Clonazepam 0.5 mg PO three times daily PRN anxiety

Lisinopril 20 mg PO daily

Metoprolol succinate 100 mg PO daily

Tiotropium 2 inhalations once daily

Venlafaxine 150 mg PO daily

Warfarin 7.5 mg PO daily

Physical Examination

Vital Signs

Temp 100.8°F, P 96, RR 24 breaths per minute, BP 150/84 mm Hg, pO2 92%, Ht 5′10″, Wt 56.4 kg


Slightly disheveled male in mild-to-moderate distress


Normocephalic, atraumatic, PERRLA, EOMI, pale/dry mucous membranes and conjunctiva, poor dentition


Bronchial breath sounds in RUL


NSR, no m/r/g


Soft, non-distended, non-tender, (+) bowel sounds



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