Pathology – Aetiology

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Causes can be predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating

During your assessment it is important to chronic underlying issues or acute insults or triggers that preceded the onset of clinical symptoms or organ dysfunction.   The lag between the inciting event can be prolonged e.g. neoplasia, short e.g. acute infection or immediate e.g. acute physical trauma.   Nonetheless, the skilful clinician will carefully evaluate the history for such clues.

Genetic predisposition to disease vulnerability can be evaluated by routine assessment of familial and inherited medical conditions.

  • Vascular – smoking, diabetes, hypertension
  • Infection – infective contacts, contaminated food, travel history
  • Neoplasia – smoking, diet, occupational/recreational exposure (chemical, biological, radiological)
  • Nutritional – diet
  • Toxic – smoking, alcohol, occupational/recreational chemical exposure, drugs (prescribed, recreational, over-the-counter)
  • Chronic inflammation – chronic infection, drugs,
  • Trauma – acute, recent or repetitive physical, thermal, radiological or chemical trauma, change in physical activity
  • Immunological – recent drugs, plants/animals contact, infections
  • Psychological – emotional stressors, major life events, conflict, losses, recreational drug use

Included are all the possible categories of external hazards that can affect biological systems and the likely situations where patients may be exposed to them.

Review occupations, hobbies and behaviours that expose patients to these

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