Why is it important for emergency physicians to understand panic disorders?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Mohammed A Memon, MD; Chief Editor: Randon S Welton, MD  more...
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An understanding of panic disorder is particularly important for emergency physicians, because patients with this condition frequently present to the ED with various somatic complaints. Many of the symptoms of an anxiety attack correspond with symptomatology found in life-threatening medical disorders, such as myocardial infarction (MI) and pulmonary embolus, which may manifest with anxiety as a primary symptom. Approximately 25% of patients who present to an emergency department with chest pain have panic anxiety disorder [70] and few individuals with panic disorder are referred to mental health professionals.

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