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Examination of the head, eyes, ears, nose and throat (HEENT) system

The examination of the HEENT system includes the head, eyes, ears, nose and throat.

• You may need an ABCDE assessment (Resuscitation Council (UK), 2006) and give analgesia before you can proceed with your examination

• HEENT presentations may be indicators of systemic disease; refer to Table A on page 18 to gain a holistic history

• The age, gender and occupation of the patient may influence both probability of a diagnosis and compliance with treatment plans

• Associated symptoms for exploration: nausea, vomiting, change in vision, hearing, voice, headache, epistaxis, tinnitus, vertigo, temperature and exposure to chemicals

• Be aware of red flag markers such as headache, vision changes, diplopia, changes in hearing, tinnitus, vertigo, epistaxis, hoarseness, swollen glands or goitre.