• The importance of face to face consultations

    Recently Essentially Medical, were delighted to introduce Dr Mike Beckles who gave a very interesting talk on long covid. As well as discussing the symptoms and investigations of this relatively newly diagnosed condition he gave us an insight into the initial consultation and made a very strong argument for keeping an open mind with regards to the diagnosis and a face-to-face consultation (rather than a video or telephone consultation). He presented the case of an elderly lady who had been unwell following her booster vaccination in October 2021. She and her general practitioner thought that she had long covid. However, when Dr Beckles assessed her on the examination couch, he found her to be anaemic and he discovered an enlarged liver. Further investigations confirmed a diagnosis of metastatic colorectal carcinoma (that is, cancer of the colon that had spread to the liver) rather than long covid. Post viral fatigue is common and has gained a lot of attention following SARS-CoV-2 infection, but it is also important to consider other diagnoses. This diagnosis would not have been made via a remote consultation.

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