Assessment of the Patient with Acute Abdominal Pain

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earmngzone CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Because of a printing error this leaming zone article was not printed in full in last week's issue. I t is reproduced here in full. Please use this version when referencing the article. Page 76 Guidelines on how to write a practice profile Assessment of the patient with acute abdominal pain NS344 Cole E et ai (2006) Assessment of the patient with acute abdominal pain. Nursing Standard. 20, 39,67-75. Date of acceptance: October 10 2005. Summary Abdominal pain has many causes, from simple to complex presentations. Patients with abdominal pain may have a number of physiological and psychological needs. Nurses have a key role to play in patient assessment, history taking and…show more content…
Check in an anatomy and physiology textbook to see if you are correct. Causes of abdominal pain ^ ^ 1 1 Right upper quadrant Right lower quadrant Left upper quadrant Left lower quadrant , ; \ Acute surgical emergencies constitute about 50 per cent of all general surgical admissions. About halfofthese are for abdominal symptoms, predominantly pain, and half of this group resolve withtiut operation, Tbe rest undergo emergency surgery or a scheduled procedure during the same admission (Birkittand Quick 2002), The common causes of abdominal pain are summarised, however, this is not an exhaustive list. Appendicitis Appendicitis is the most common surgical emergency (Longmoreei a/2004). Appendicitis is inflammation ofthe appendix, and as the iníLimmatory process begins, there is colicky pain that usually starts around the umbilicus or epigastrium. However, as the inflammation increases and the peritoneum becomes involved, the pain shifts to the right iliac fossa (within the right lower quadrant). Associated symptoms may include loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation and occasional diarrhoea. Biliary colic Biliary colic describes tbe symptoms caused by intermittent cystic duct or common bile duct obstruction caused by gallstones. Typically patients are female and overweight. Pain is usually colicky and localised in tbe right upper quadrant and in the epigastrium radiating to tbe back. Pain has a sudden onset and is

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