Physical Assessment

Physical assessment of Mr Thomas may be difficult depending on his level of agitation, although attention at the bedside to the following factors is often helpful:

  • Level of consciousness
  • Hydration
  • Observations temperature, oxygen saturations, urine dipstick
  • Search for infection: lungs, urine, abdomen, skin
  • Evidence of alcohol abuse or withdrawal (eg tremor)
  • Cognitive function using a standardised screening tool
  • Neurological examination (including assessment of speech) - note comprehensive examination may not be possible due to altered mental state.
  • Rectal examination if impaction suspected (again, may not be possible.)
  • Residual urine by bladder scan