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Spider hair incident highlights need for good communications

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The importance of effective communication between clinicians and patients has been emphasised by the rare case of a patient with suspected conjunctivitis, which turned out to be caused by hairs from his pet tarantula spider getting in his eyes.

Doctors at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds said that without detailed discussion with the patient, the cause of his symptoms may never have been diagnosed.

Writing in the Lancet doctors said “This case highlights the importance of a collaborative approach between doctor and patient in providing good clinical care.

“The condition described is rare and the correct diagnosis was made only after we discussed the clinical findings with the patient.”

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