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Fifteen-minute consultation: The limping child
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  • Published on:
    RE: Letter to the Author
    • Ravi Patel, Medical Student Hull & York Medical School
    • Other Contributors:
      • Matthew Knights, Medical Student

    A medical student perspective on history-taking for a child presenting with a limp: doing it for the first time

    Ravi Patel & Matthew Knights

    A child presenting with a limp, is a common presentation in primary and secondary care in the UK. It can be due to a number of different aetiologies with varying degrees of severity. A concise history offers the opportunity to identify key risk factors, mechanisms of injury, duration of symptoms and a collateral history from family members, thus is an important skill for all healthcare professionals irrespective of speciality. [1,2] However, many medical students and newly graduated junior doctors feel-ill prepared to take one. [3] Missing key red-flags, delaying diagnosis and referral for appropriate management. We present our own experiences of history taking and discuss how improvements can be made within the medical school curriculum.

    Key factors in making history taking a challenge for children presenting with a limp for medical students or clinicians include; quantifying duration and pain the child is experiencing, the precise location of pain, establishing the true mechanism of injury, weather a non-accidental injury is questionable, cultural differences when taking a collateral history and the birth and developmental history. This applies even more so to those with inadequate training. A recent survey conducted by the University of Newcastle medical school found average duration of the T&O attachm...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.