What is included in the physical exam for evaluation of suspected food poisoning?

Updated: Jun 19, 2018
  • Author: Roberto M Gamarra, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

The physical examination should focus on assessing the severity of dehydration and include the following evaluation:

  • A dry mouth, decreased axillary sweat, and decreased urine output indicate mild dehydration, whereas orthostasis, tachycardia, and hypotension indicate more severe volume depletion.

  • A rectal examination always should be performed to directly visualize the stool, to test occult blood, and to palpate the rectal mucosa for any lesions.

  • Rose spot macules on the upper abdomen and hepatosplenomegaly may be seen in Salmonella typhi infection.

  • Erythema nodosum and exudative pharyngitis are suggestive of Yersinia infection.

  • Patients with Vibrio vulnificus or Vibrio alginolyticus may present with cellulitis and otitis media.


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