Importance Patients' History – Basic Diagnostic Techniques

by Joseph Alpert, MD

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    00:00 forms of tests. And we’ll be talking about each of those later in this lecture.

    00:01 Why is the patient’s history so very important? Let’s consider that for a few moments.

    00:07 First of all, it’s important to remember that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world regardless of racial or ethnic groups. For example, in 2012 there were 7.4 million ischemic heart disease deaths – that is disease due to narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart – and 6.7 million deaths that resulted from stroke.

    00:39 So you can see that that’s a huge number of people in the world who have died of cardiovascular disease.

    00:47 In making the diagnosis of either one of those entities – ischemic heart disease or stroke – it is critically important to know what symptoms the patient’s been having because that directs you in terms of your thinking as to what’s going on in this particular patient.

    01:08 The history provides information about the symptoms, how they might have developed. It indicates potential or underlying disease states. It helps in identifying significant factors that can influence cardiovascular health. For example, diet. And we’ll talk a lot more about that in a moment.

    01:31 90% of the diagnostic information is in the patient’s history. So, if you don’t take a good careful history, you’re giving away a lot of chance to make the correct diagnosis.

    01:46 In order to get a good history, it takes time. You can’t just breeze in, listen for a few minutes and run away. You have to listen carefully to what the patient is saying because you often need to interpret what they’re telling you. The patient is not a healthcare person.

    02:03 They don’t know how to organise their history. So you’re getting it in bits and pieces and you have to piece together the pieces of the puzzle in order to understand what the patient is actually telling you.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Importance Patients' History – Basic Diagnostic Techniques by Joseph Alpert, MD is from the course Introduction to the Vascular System.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. History
    2. Physical examination
    3. Laboratory studies
    4. Imaging
    5. Pathology
    1. Cardiovascular disease
    2. Lung cancer
    3. Genitourinary disease
    4. Breast cancer
    5. Motor accidents

    Author of lecture Importance Patients' History – Basic Diagnostic Techniques

     Joseph Alpert, MD

    Joseph Alpert, MD

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