Written assignment – Case studies

Type of Assessment: Case Studies

Task Overview: Complete all four case studies by answering specific questions and providing a

Presentation: Your submitted assignment MUST include the case number and client name

probable diagnosis. Each case study presents signs, symptoms, patient history,

and any relevant laboratory & physical examination results.

before your answer.

Format: Your submission must be typewritten Word count for each case is 500 words.

Total word count is 2,000 words. No diagrams, tables or pictures are required for

this assessment.

Academic writing style is required. Ensure you follow the guidelines provided in

the Academic Writing Guide found in the Academic Skills section of your Learning

Portal and proof-read your work before submission to avoid typos, spelling and

grammar errors.

Font size and spacing: 12 point; double spacing
Referencing: Your assignment must include a properly formatted bibliography, listing all

resources used in the interpretation and recommendations of the four cases. In

text referencing is not required for this assessment.

For information on bibliographies consult the Academic Writing Guide, found in

the Academic Skills section of your Learning Portal. If you are not clear on the

process of in-text referencing or including a bibliography, consult the Learning &

Academic Skills support as early as possible.

Note: Please ensure you have reviewed all of the information in the Academic Skills section of your

Learning Portal before submitting your final assessment.
Instructions

This assessment consists of four (4) case studies – all must be completed.

You are required to

1. Answer any specific questions asked in the case study

2. Provide a probable diagnosis with justification and provide at least 1 other differential diagnosis

Case One

A 49yo woman presents to you for a health check. She has been in a stressful job for the past 4 years, and

is on a one month break before taking up a new job, which she hopes will be less pressured. She doesn’t

feel she has any health issues or problems and wants to use this time to make some positive health

changes.

Height 170cm, weight 87kg, BP 125/85, pulse 71, waist 85cm

During the consultation with you, you elicit the following information:

 Breakfast consists of toast and jam or vegemite and white coffee with 2 sugars

 Morning tea is an apple or crackers and cheese and another white coffee with 2 sugars

 Lunch is pasta or sushi rolls or ham and cheese toasted sandwich and a 600mL bottle of soft drink

 Afternoon tea is white tea with 2 sugars and biscuits

 Dinner is cheese on toast, tinned soup, fruit and flavoured yoghurt.

 She will often have 2 glasses of wine with dinner as she felt her old job was high pressure and she

had earned a drink or two to relax and unwind – she admits they may not be ‘standard’ glasses of

wine

 She often gets palpitations in the afternoon, and occasionally feels short of breath when she has to

run for a bus

 She does feel tired most of the time, and admits she has put on weight in the last couple of years,

especially around the tummy

 Sometimes her tummy feels bloated and she gets a pain in her right side – she describes it as

‘below my right breast, but behind my ribs.’

 Sometimes at night she is woken be a sharp pain that starts in the same area, but goes through to

her right shoulder blade

 She doesn’t sleep well, as she often has to get up during the night to urinate – usually once,

sometimes more. She comments that during the day she seemed to urinate much more frequently

than her previous colleagues
Specific questions relating to the case study

1. What issues should you consider in relation to a patient who feels they don’t have ‘any health

issues or problems’?

2. What physical examination could you undertake in clinic that would provide you with additional

information that might clarify this case?

3. Provide a probable diagnosis with justification and at least 1 other differential diagnosis
Case Two

A 35yo male presents to you in clinic. His presenting symptoms include a hacking cough, sometimes with

mucus, shortness of breath, sometimes wheezing. He has had four (4) respiratory tract infections in the

past 14 months. He works in a printing and copying business and is currently renovating a house with his

partner. The dust from work and renovating seems to aggravate the cough. He tries to remember a good

dust mask at while renovating.

His health history includes childhood asthma, which he grew out of in his early teens – he has not used any

medication for this since he was (he thinks) about 14 – he had ‘a puffer’. He did smoke in his late teens and

early twenties, but hasn’t smoked since about age 25. His father (now aged 65) had a stroke at age 51 and

is being treated for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. His father has never smoked or drank

alcohol. His mother (age 62) has been a life long smoker, and despite a recent diagnosis of emphysema,

continues to smoke about 5 cigarettes a day – she hopes to quit soon.

You notice that he scratches the inside of his elbows during the consultation and ask if there is a problem.

He says he has ‘eczema’ and it also appears behind his knees, behind his ears and at his hairline. It gets

worse with heat or in the spring and sometime he think what he eats might ‘set it off’, but hasn’t really paid

attention to it. His doctor gave him some cream, but he never remembers to use it until it is too late.

Specific questions relating to the case study

1. What physical examination could you undertake in clinic to provide additional information that

might clarify this case? (dot points are allowed – you must give a reason for why you undertake

each physical examination to show its relevance to this case)

2. Is there any other information you would like to clarify this case or questions you could ask? (dot

points are allowed- briefly explain why the question is relevant to this case)

3. Provide a probable diagnosis with justification and at least 1 other differential diagnosis

Case Three

A 30 yo female patient presents with symptoms including tiredness, foggy headedness, heavy periods and

frequent colds. She is 170cm tall and weighs 59kg.

Her diet is good and includes red meat 1/7, fish 3/7, tofu / legumes 2/7, fruit 2/day and a good range of

vegetables, but she does not like potatoes. She does eat white rice (basmati) 3 – 4 times a week. Breakfast

is Bircher muesli. Lunch is a mountain bread (whole grain) wrap with egg or tuna and carrots, tomato,

beetroot and lettuce 4 days a week; on Fridays they have pizza or fish and chips at work. She does get

sugar cravings at about 3.30, but tries to eat fruit – Fridays she will give in and have sweet biscuits for
afternoon tea. She does not drink alcohol or soft drinks. She has 3 white coffees a day (no sugar) and one

green tea after dinner. She can’t understand why she feels so rotten, when she is doing all the right things.

The following results of a blood test results are subsequently received from her general practitioner:

Result Reference range

Hb 103g/L 115 – 165

RCC 5.6 x 1012 3.9-5.8

Hct 0.34 0.34-0.47

MCV 64fL 79-99

MCH 20pg 27-34

MCHC 315g/L 320-360

RDW 16.1% 10-17

Plat 273 x109

WBC

Neut 7.6 x109

Lymp 3.3 x109

Mono 0.3 x109

Eos 0.3 x109

Baso 0.1 x109

Other

ESR 100 (0-20)

Ferritin 23mcg/L 15-200

The Laboratory included the following comments:

 Red Cells: Anisocytosis +, Microcytosis ++ Hypochromia ++, Eliptocytosis ++, occasional fragmented cells

 White cells: normal

 Platelets: normal

Specific questions relating to the case study

1. What physical examination could you undertake in clinic that would provide you with additional

information that might clarify this case? (dot points are allowed – you must give a reason for why

you undertake each physical examination to show its relevance to this case)

2. Is there any other information you would like to clarify this case? (dot points are allowed)

3. What complementary tests could be ordered for this patient and why? You should justify the tests

you think are necessary by explaining what information the test would give and how this would

contribute to your diagnosis or differential diagnosis (dot points are allowed – you must give a

reason for why you undertake each physical examination to show its relevance to this case)

4. Provide a probable diagnosis with justification and at least 1 other differential diagnosis

/L 150-400

/L 4 – 11

/L 1-4

/L 0.2-1

/L <0.7 /L <0.2 Case Four A 34yo woman presents at clinic seeking preconception advice. She is 175cm tall and weighs 62kg. She and her partner are trying to start a family and have been having unprotected intercourse for 10 months, without success. Her periods are regular (every 27-28 days), are not heavy and there is no clotting or cramping. Her partner is having a semen analysis to determine if there are any problems from that respect, although those results are not yet available. She practices yoga 4 mornings a week, walks at weekends for 1 hour and her diet is excellent. Neither she or her partner drink alcohol or coffee. Her energy levels are good, but she admits to being stressed about not conceiving. Timing of intercourse is good for conception. Her general practitioner has requested a set of tests, a copy of which she has brought to her appointment with you. Her FBC is all well within normal limits, although her Ferritin is 23mcg/L (15-200) and the Laboratory has noted ‘Serum Ferritin levels between 15-30mcg/L may reflect depleted iron stores and iron therapy may be indicated.’ Her GP has started her on iron supplements. Her thyroid function has come back with the following results: Result Reference range Free T3 (FT3) 5.94pmol/L 2.5 – 6.0 Free thyroxine (FT4) 18 pmol/L 8-22 TSH 6.28mIU/L 0.30-4.00 Specific questions relating to the case study 1. What physical examination could you undertake in clinic that would provide you with additional information that might clarify this case? (dots points are allowed – you must give a reason for why you undertake each physical examination to show its relevance to this case) 2. Is there any other information you would like to clarify this case? (dots points are allowed– briefly explain why the information is relevant to this case) 3. What complementary tests could be ordered for this patient and why? You should justify the tests you think are necessary by explaining what information the test would give and how this would contribute to your diagnosis or differential diagnosis (dots points are allowed - you must give a reason for why you undertake each physical examination to show its relevance to this case) 4. Provide a probable diagnosis with justification and at least 1 other differential diagnosis Assessment Instructions Summary 1. In 500 words, for each of the four (4) case studies, provide the answers to the case related questions and give a probable diagnosis with justification with at least 1 other differential diagnosis. Submit the word document on the Learning Portal.

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