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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes sharp chest pain upon breathing?

Jackson, age 65, comes to the doctor’s office complaining of a sharp pain in the right side of his chest. He says his chest hurts when he breathes deeply or coughs. This is a problem, he says, because he has been coughing a lot, has difficulty drawing breath, and feels a tightness in the center of his chest. What condition or conditions might the doctor suspect? What methods of diagnosis would the doctor use, and what specific signs would the doctor look for to pinpoint the cause?
Sat, 14 Jul 2018
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General Surgeon 's  Response
Hello and welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

* Most common issues can be underlying respiratory infection in form of bronchitis, pneumonia or others.
* Method of diagnosis is usually lab tests with complete blood counts, sputum microscopy and x-ray chest.
* Specific signs the doctor look for pinpoint cause are
- increased respiratory rate, type of breathing on inspection.
-tenderness over particular intercostal spaces on palpation.
- type of breathing sound abnormalities and air entry on auscultation.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
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