Doctor - patient conversation

The patient is visiting a physician.

Doctor: Can you tell me what is bothering you?
Patient: I have had a cough for the past few days. A few days ago I had a cold.
Doctor: Is it a dry sort of cough or is it productive (with sputum, secretions)?
Patient: It is mostly dry, at times productive.
Doctor: Are you allergic?
Patient: No.
Doctor: Do you smoke?
Patient: No.
Doctor: Do you work in an environment where you are exposed to dangerous chemicals?
Patient: No.
Doctor: Do you take any other medication?
Patient: No.
Doctor: Do you cough constantly throughout the entire day, does it tire you out?
Patient: I have it almost constantly, very frequently throughout the day.
Doctor: Does it keep you from sleeping at night?
Patient: It gets worse or happens more often when I am lying down.
Doctor: Have you had a fever?
Patient: Sort of, very low, 37ºC, 37.5ºC.
Doctor: Besides the cough, do you have any other complaints?
Patient: A mild headache, when I cough my chest aches, and at times the muscles in my belly hurt.
Doctor: How long have you been coughing?
Patient: A little bit over a week.
Doctor: Have you taken any medication to stop the cough?
Patient: I have taken some cough syrup, but it didn’t really work.
Doctor: May I examine you with a stethoscope please?

Following the examination with a stethoscope, the doctor concludes:

  1. The patient has been suffering from a prolonged, relatively frequent cough, at times productive and bothering them during the night.
  2. Patient has been suffering from a sub-febrile temperature (low).
  3. During auscultation (the action of listening to sounds from the heart, lungs, or other organs, typically with a stethoscope, as a part of medical diagnosis), bronchial rales can be heard (Crackles, crepitations, or rales, are the clicking, rattling, or crackling noises that may be made by one or both lungs of a human with a respiratory disease during inhalation).
  4. Patient feels fatigue.
  5. Decreased apetite.
  6. Patient appears pale (due to the fatigue caused by the excessive coughing).

Based upon these conclusions, the physician speculates whether this is a case of acute bronchitis.

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 24 Jan 2018
Medical Author: Dr. med. Diana Hysi