BENEFITING: Pulmonary Hypertension Association Inc
EVENT DATE: Sep 30, 2017
Given the family trait of never being normal, it should have come as no surprise that the trouble daddy had breathing wasn't routine. The difficulty breathing made it hard to do anything. Even walking upstairs took three rest breaks for thirteen stairs. After countless visits to doctors, one trip to the ER finally diagnosed the problem. Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Among healthcare providers, the zebra is a metaphor for an unexpected diagnosis. When first learning how to reach a diagnosis, health professionals are taught, “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” Through this example, instructors encourage their students to think first of the more common, and therefore more likely, diagnosis. This logic makes sense most of the time, but also partly explains why PH is often misdiagnosed as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other more common diseases. The goal of the Early Diagnosis Campaign is to encourage care providers to look beyond common explanations and consider the possibility of pulmonary hypertension when it becomes clear that the answer is not a simple one.