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Fatigue, Emergency Medicine

Matthew B. Mostofi Reviewed 06/2017



  • A subjective state of overwhelming, sustained exhaustion and decreased capacity for physical and mental work that is not relieved by rest

  • Fatigue occurs with or without objective find...


Signs and Symptoms

  • Fatigue is a subjective complaint of exhaustion or tired sensation that interferes with normal activities of life, and symptoms do not resolve with sleep.

  • There are no speci...



Evaluate vital signs: 
  • Collect relevant information that could help psychosocial evaluation.

Initial Stabilization/Therapy

  • ABCs

  • Administer supplemental oxygen for hypoxia.

  • IV fluid bo...



Admission Criteria

  • Underlying disease requiring IV medication or monitoring

  • Failure to thrive as outpatient

  • Unable to provide for self

Discharge Criteria

  • Able to care for self

  • Serious d...

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Fatigue is a subjective symptom complex, and a complete history and physical exam are needed.

  • Beware of patients with unreliable history and physical exam. The elderly, children, in...

Additional Reading

  • Kitai  E, Blumberg  G, Levy  D, et al. Fatigue as a first-time presenting symptom: Management by family doctors and one year follow-up. Isr Med Assoc J.  2012;14(9):555–559.

  • Man...



  • 729.1 Myalgia and myositis, unspecified

  • 780.71 Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • 780.79 Other malaise and fatigue

  • 300.5 Neurasthenia

  • 719.49 Pain in joint, multiple sites


  • M79.1 Myalgia

  • R53.82 Chronic f...

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