If a PE causes pleuritic chest pain, it’ll also cause its cardinal symptom — dyspnea. The dyspnea is usually experienced in sudden onset, within 30-60 seconds. Sometimes the dyspnea is only noticed with exertion.
Suspect a PE based on risk factors:
Top Risk Factors for PE
Clinical Findings Suggesting PE
If you think a PE is not unlikely, send the patient to an E.D.
See postings Acute Dyspnea – 2 and Chest Pain – 2.