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pertinent negative

per·ti·nent neg·a·tive

/ˈpərtn-ənt ˈnegətiv/

Noun

While not always obvious, pertinent negatives are significant to record. These are really “nonfindings”, meaning that things that should have been found, were not. An example would be that of a patient who looks like he is in breathing rapidly (an objective finding) but does not complain of trouble breathing (a subjective nonfinding). In this case, an EMT can document this pertinent negative as, “Patient denies shortness of breath.”