How do you make a diagnosis?

Many childhood diseases have similar signs and symptoms but only a few of these diseases are common. The steps in making a diagnosis are:

  1. Gather all the abnormal findings found in the history, examination and any special tests.
  2. Compare these finding to those found in common childhood diseases. It is usually quite easy to find one which best fits the findings.
  3. Carefully compare the clinical findings to the signs and symptoms typical of the chosen diagnosis and see if they truly fit.
  4. If they do not fit, reconsider your diagnosis and think of another possible diagnosis.
  5. Watch the child’s response to the treatment for that diagnosis.

If you are unable to make a diagnosis or if you diagnose a serious disease, the child must be referred to hospital or a special clinic for further management.

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