Inspection (medicine)

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In medicine, inspection (Latin word "Inspectio" or the act of beholding) is the thorough and unhurried visualization of the client. This requires the use of the naked eye.

During inspection, the examiner observes:

External signs:

  • Body features and symmetry appearance
  • Nutritional state or weight
  • Skin color
  • Frequency and volume of breaths during respiration
  • Movement of the abdomen and each side of the chest during respiration
  • Hair distribution
  • divercation of recti muscle
  • umbilicus (site-shape-color-infiltration)
  • Gait and manner of speaking

Gross Deviation:

In medical practice, inspection is however not limited to visual information alone. Inspection also involves:

  • Listening to any sounds emanating from the client
  • Odors that may be present

According to the medical definition found in the ICD-10-PCS, in the Medical and Surgical Section 0, root operation J, inspection means visually and/or manually exploring a body part. Visual exploration may be performed with or without optical instrumentation. Manual exploration may be performed directly or through intervening body layers. Examples would be a diagnostic arthroscopy, or an exploratory laparotomy.

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