Key questions

• How long has the problem been apparent to you?

• Do you remember any bumps or falls that might have caused the bruising?

• What sort of injuries cause you to bruise easily?

• Have you noticed bleeding from other areas such as your nose or gums?

• Has anyone in your family had a history of bruising or bleeding?

• What is your general health like?

• Do you have any tiredness, weight loss, fever or night sweats?

• Did you notice a viral illness or sore throat beforehand?

• How much alcohol do you drink?

• What happened in the past when you had a tooth extracted?

• Do you get widespread itchiness of your skin?

• Have you ever had painful swelling in your joints?

Medication record

It is mandatory to obtain a complete drug history. Examples of drugs and their responses are:

• vascular purpura o prednisolone

• thrombocytopenia o chloramphenicol o cytotoxic drugs o gold o heparin o phenylbutazone o sulphonamides o quinine, quinidine o thiazide diuretics

• functional platelet abnormalities o aspirin o NSAIDs

• coagulation factor deficiency o warfarin

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