Table of Contents
Explanation for Differential Diagnosis
Differential diagnosis is indispensable in exact evaluation of a particular medical condition. In reference to the case study, the middle aged female patient presented herself to the office complaining of a sore throat. A sore throat is indicative of possible diagnosis such as pharingitis, tonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess, tonsillar neoplasm or internal carotid aneurysm (Buttaro & Trybulski, 2013). Thus, there was need for an optimal approach in order to determine the cause of infection. Needless to say, differential diagnosis could help in avoiding long term complications. The sore throat could have been caused by direct infection of viruses or bacteria. In fact, Group A beta hemolytic streps account for most of the infection. It could have also been caused by allergic reactions. It was important to note that each cause has a defined sign and symptom for its identification. The ultimate diagnosis for the patient would have been tonsillar swelling without exudates. This was proved by physical examination that reveled the swelling. Further examination also indicated bilateral tender enlarged cervical nodes on the neck.
Role of Patient History and Physical Exam in Diagnosis
Patient history is essential in making a diagnosis. In this case, establishing the patient history was vital in ruling out other possible causes. For instance, according to the patient’s history, she denied contact with allergic substances. Consequently, the physician excluded allergy as the source of sore throat. Patient history is, therefore, important in differential diagnosis. The second role that patient history plays is to enable a physician understand the prognosis of a condition. For instance, some diseases are recurrent and could give an explanation on their current occurrence (Buttaro & Trybulski, 2013). In this case, the patient admitted that she had, in the past, suffered from strep throat. The doctor, therefore, attended to the patient having in mind a possible reoccurrence or poor treatment in the first case.
Similarly, physical examination is an imperative process in diagnosis. First and foremost, it provides physical signs and symptoms that point out to the disease. For instance, the patient had a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Fever which indicates most infections. Physical examination also directly points to the organ where the problem lies. In this case, evaluation indicated bilateral tonsillar swelling without exudates (Simon, 2005). In essence, the physician carried out a detailed evaluation of head, eyes, ears, nose and throat. Evidently, physical examination is a quick way of obtaining possible signs and symptoms before a conclusion is made. Other diagnostic tests such as throat culture are essential but may take sufficient time before the result is obtained. In fact, physical examination acts as a primary source of information among patients who may not be in a position to explain their condition yet they are in need of immediate care (Buttaro & Trybulski, 2013).
Potential Patient Treatment
From the above discussion, it is evident that the patient had tonsillar swelling without exudates. Strep throat is a major cause of tonsillitis. The treatment of the above condition requires antibiotic therapy. For instance, as earlier stated, Group A beta Haemolytic strep are known to causes such infection. There are various drugs that could be used in this case. For example, antibiotics such as Augmentin and Bactoclav could be administered over five day period and the condition observed (Simon, 2005). These antibiotics are known to eliminate streptococcus bacteria among others. The antibiotic could have been administered twice a day. It is worth noting that the patient could not be treated using penicillin due to the fact that she was allergic to penicillin. The patient should also have taken pain killers such as paracetamol to eliminate the discomfort (Buttaro & Trybulski, 2013).