• EL2

1 hour 30 minutes

Foundation doctors,Medical students

Hospital presentations: Breathlessness

An interactive case based module for medical trainees covering differential diagnosis, assessment, investigation and initial emergency treatment of patients with breathlessness.

Learning outcomes

After completing this module, you should have the knowledge and confidence to:

  • Consider the differential diagnosis of breathlessness and diagnose the most common cardiorespiratory causes in people presenting in a hospital setting
  • Distinguish stridor from wheeze and know the causes for each
  • Recognise hyperventilation and breathing pattern disorder (dysfunctional breathing)
  • Describe the difference between orthopnoea and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea
  • Outline indications for, request and interpret initial investigations in people with breathlessness
  • Consider the role of CT chest, CT pulmonary angiography, and spirometry in the investigation of people with breathlessness
  • Start initial treatment, including safe emergency oxygen therapy, for people with common conditions presenting with breathlessness in an acute hospital setting.

Please note: this module was written and published before the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. BMJ Learning editors have since added some essential covid-19 learning bites to the content but overall this module does not address the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients. We have specific content on COVID-19 which you can find here: https://new-learning.bmj.com/covid-19


 Tom Buttle,  Burhan Khan, Filip Zemrak

Peer reviewed by:

 Abdallah Al-Mohammad, William Ricketts

Last updated

30 Apr 2020

Release date

22 Jan 2020


Accreditor credit Accreditation statement
BMJ Learning 1.5 credits, 1:30 hours BMJ Learning has assigned one and a half hours of credit to this module.
Hospital presentations: Breathlessness Rated 5/5 based on 40 customer reviews