Physical Examination

Emergency Situation: Vitals (BP, HR, RR, Sp02, heart, lung, and skin exam, examination of the oropharynx, the patient should be asked to speak to access vocal capabilities.

Table 4 – Physical Examination

Body System

Examination Basics

Oropharynx

Examine the vermilion border, the oral mucosa, the tongue, and dentition and view the oropharynx.

Pay close attention to any rash, abnormal coloring of the mouth or tongue, dental cavities, and the oropharynx, which should be pink and without debris.

Anterior Torso

Listen to the heart in the four cardinal areas.  Listen to the lungs in 2 places in the anterior fields.

Abnormal breath sounds include wheezing, rhonchi (very coarse breath sounds), and crackles (sound like opening Velcro).  Pay attention to the amount of air moved.  Heart murmurs (sound like a whoosh) should be documented.

Posterior Torso

Auscultate the posterior lung fields in a ladder pattern (3 on each side).

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