Skill Checkup: A 17-Year-Old Male With Shortness of Breath, Cough With Green Sputum, Headache, and Low-Grade Fever

Enrico Brunetti, MD


November 07, 2022

Based on the patient's presentation and the results of pulmonary CT, the diagnosis of COVID-19-related pneumonia with preexisting asthma is highly likely. It can be challenging to distinguish respiratory COVID-19 symptoms such as chest tightness, coughing, and dyspnea from an asthma exacerbation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), severe COVID-19 can be defined by oxygen saturation < 90% on room air, signs of pneumonia, and signs of severe respiratory distress, which, in adults, manifests in accessory muscle use, inability to complete full sentences, and respiratory rate > 30 breaths per minute.

A diagnosis of COVID-19-related pneumonia with preexisting asthma is confirmed, and the patient is admitted to the pediatric COVID-19 inpatient service and put on low-flow oxygen.


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