A sixty-year-old baker presents to your clinic, complaining of increasing shortness of breath and nonproductive cough over the last month. She feels like she can’t do as much activity as she used to do without becoming tired. She even has to sleep upright in her recliner at night to be able to breathe comfortably. She denies any chest pain, nausea, or sweating. Her past medical history is significant for high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. She had a hysterectomy in her 40s for heavy vaginal bleeding. She is married and is retiring from the local bakery soon. She denies any tobacco, alcohol, or drug use. Her mother died of a stroke, and her father died from prostate cancer. She denies any recent upper respiratory illness, and she has had no other symptoms. On examination, she is in no acute distress. Her blood pressure is 160/100, and her pulse is 100. She is afebrile, and her respiratory rate is 16. With auscultation, she has distant air sounds, and she has late inspiratory crackles in both lower lobes. On cardiac examination, the S1 and S2 are distant and an S3 is heard over the apex.
1. What is the chief complaint?
2. Based on the subjective and objective information provided what are your 3 top differential diagnoses listing the presumptive final diagnosis first?
3. What treatment plan would you consider utilizing current evidence-based practice guidelines?