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Referring Otitis Externa

September 22, 2015

Otitis externa can be a difficult condition to manage well in General Practice and the art of this lies in knowing when to refer the patient. The obvious (although surprisingly undervalued) rule is that if the ear is filled with discharge, drops will not get into the canal. A tissue …

Histories do repeat – Taking a good history in early pregnancy

The diagnosis of a new pregnancy in General Practice is an ideal opportunity to ask many things you might not normally discuss with patients. It is interesting how few women know medical information about their partner, for example, and it is easy to forget to ask about hereditary diseases that …

Explaining Shingles

There is a great deal of misunderstanding by patients and even doctors about shingles. People often believe it is caught from someone with chicken pox, or that it can cause shingles in another person. Education is the key to eliminating these myths. Shingles is the blistering rash in a sensory …

Confidentiality and Underage Patients

Most days GPs will see adolescents and younger teenagers and occasionally these patients will want to talk about private things, such as contraception, sexually transmitted diseases or abuse. It is important when you realise that the conversation is heading in this direction to maintain rapport. However, it is vital for …

Chronic Dehydration in the Elderly

Chronic, inadequate fluid intake in the elderly is often due to choice. The patient may have trouble with pain, mobility or frequent urination and this can discourage them from getting themselves a drink. Cognitive deficits may affect their ability to recognise thirst, especially in summer. Chronic dehydration leads to many …