With regard to the case study: Consider what history would be necessary to collect from the patient. Consider what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate to gather more information about the patient’s condition.
• How would the results be used to make a diagnosis?
• Identify at least 5 possible conditions that may be considered in a differential diagnosis for the patient.
• Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate and how the results would be used to make a diagnosis.
• List five different possible conditions for the patient’s differential diagnosis and justify why you selected each.
Nose Focused Exam Richard is a 50-year-old male with nasal congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhea, and postnasal drainage. Richard has struggled with an itchy nose, eyes, palate, and ears for 5 days. As you check his ears and throat for redness and inflammation, you notice him touch his fingers to the bridge of his nose to press and rub there. He says he’s taken Mucinex OTC the past two nights to help him breathe while he sleeps. When you ask if the Mucinex has helped at all, he sneers slightly and gestures that the improvement is only minimal. Richard is alert and oriented. He has pale, boggy nasal mucosa with clear thin secretions and enlarged nasal turbinates, which obstruct airway flow, but his lungs are clear. His tonsils are not enlarged but his throat is mildly erythematous.
Focused Throat Exam Lily is a 20-year-old student at the local community college. When some of her friends and classmates told her about an outbreak of flu-like symptoms sweeping her campus over the past two weeks, Lily figured she shouldn’t take her three-day sore throat lightly. Your clinic has treated a few cases similar to Lily’s. All the patients reported decreased appetite, headaches, and pain with swallowing. As Lily recounts these symptoms to you, you notice that she has a runny nose and a slight hoarseness in her voice but doesn’t sound congested.
Focused Ear Exam Martha brings her 11-year old grandson, James, to your clinic to have his right ear checked. He has complained to her about a mild earache for the past two days. His grandmother believes that he feels warm but did not verify this with a thermometer. James states that the pain was worse while he was falling asleep and that it was harder for him to hear. When you begin basic assessments, you notice that James has a prominent tan. When you ask him how he’s been spending his summer, James responds that he’s been spending a lot of time in the pool. Extremely high quality work is expected!