♦ Record the relevant READ code for your patient's level of breathlessness.
Use the table below for coding guidance:
|Breathlessness description||READ code|
|1. Never||1731. No breathlessness|
|2. Climbing stairs||173G. Breathless - strenuous exertion|
|3. Walking on the level||1732. Breathless - moderate exertion|
|4. Washing and dressing||1733. Breathless - mild exertion|
|5. At rest||1734. Breathless - at rest|
|99. Refuses to answer||No READ code required|
• If worsening or a new symptom, consider the reasons for this – may require additional management or consultation with a GP.
♦ Ensure that the cause is diagnosed.
• Consider COPD, heart failure and other comorbidities.
• If a diagnosis of heart failure is considered likely, check that an echocardiogram has been done (can use direct access echo service).