Varicella Zoster Virus, Herpes Zoster Oticus and Facial Palsy Mnemonic

May 14, 2018

We created this mnemonic to help generalist clinicians understand the differential signs to look out for when a patient presents with symptoms of Bell’s palsy. Half of patients surveyed by Facial Palsy UK with an eventual diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome had been misdiagnosed and half had not received the correct treatment in the optimum time period risking their recovery.

The ‘PURPLE’ aid was presented to a group of UK neurologists and a virologist – who all agreed it was a good idea.

“Almost all of us had seen serious complications as a result of facial palsy in context of VZV and as a consequence in clinical practice had a low threshold for adding in acyclovir cover to steroids – if there was any doubt – e.g. severe ear pain, hearing loss, imbalance, or if patients were immunocompromised even if definite vesicles were not visible at that time.” – Dr Romi Saha (Consultant Neurologist) May 2018.

Facebook RHS Mnemonic

Mnemonic for Facebook – spot the warning signs of Ramsay Hunt syndrome


Twitter RHS Mnemonic

Mnemonic for Twitter – spot the warning signs of Ramsay Hunt syndrome


Instagram RHS Mnemonic

Mnemonic for Instagram – spot the warning signs of Ramsay Hunt syndrome


Download our Patient Guide to Ramsay Hunt syndrome

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