The physical examination is an elementary component of every thorough diagnosis. Together with the anamnesis, it provides a first comprehensive picture of the patient and possible diseases.
Typically, the examination begins with an assessment of the general and nutritional status. This includes the recording of the most important physical parameters such as body height, body weight, blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, respiratory rate.
This is followed by an examination according to the so-called IPPAF standard:
- Inspection: Viewing
- Palpation: palpation of individual parts of the body
- Percussion: tapping of body regions (chest, abdomen)
- Auscultation: listening to body regions (chest, abdomen)
- Functional examinations: Testing of individual body functions (e.g. pupillary reflex, muscle reflexes).
After the anamnesis and physical examination, the diagnosis is often clear, no further (unnecessary) diagnostics are necessary and a targeted therapy can be initiated.