This question refers to the common 'pitfalls' so often encountered in general practice. This area is definitely related to the experience factor and includes rather simple non-life-threatening problems that can be so easily overlooked unless doctors are prepared to include them in their diagnostic framework. Classic examples include smoking or dental caries as a cause of abdominal pain; allergies to a whole variety of unsuspected everyday contacts; foreign bodies; occupational or environmental hazards as a cause of headache, respiratory discomfort or malaise; and faecal impaction as a cause of diarrhoea. We have all experienced the 'red face syndrome' from a urinary tract infection whether it is the cause of fever in a child, lumbar pain in a pregnant woman or malaise in an older person. The dermatomal pain pattern caused by herpes zoster prior to the eruption of the rash (or if only a few sparse vesicles erupt) is a real trap.
Menopausal symptoms can also be overlooked as we focus on a particular symptom. Some important pitfalls are given in Table 15.3 .
Table 15.3 Classic pitfalls
Domestic abuse including child abuse
Drugs (see Table 15.4)
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