Flashcards in The Acute Abdomen Deck (14):
What is the acute abdomen?
A combination of symptoms and signs, including abdominal pain, which results in a patient being referred for an urgent general surgical opinion.
What three things need to be considered when a patient presents with acute abdomen symptoms?
Abdominal pain (type)
Where might a peritonitis infection occur from?
GI/biliary tract perforation
Female genital tract infection
Penetration of abdominal wall
When does generalised peritonitis occur?
When contamination is too rapid, contamination persists or an abscess ruptures
What are the typical presentations of intestinal obstruction?
Borborygmi (stomach rumbling)
What are the three types of abdominal pain?
Why is it important to determine the type of pain?
Visceral pain gives poor localisation while somatic pain gives accurate localisation but referred pain may occur in the same location.
Give 6 differential diagnoses for acute abdomen
Peptic ulcer perforation
Small or large bowel obstruction
What should be covered in the clinical assessment of a patient presenting with acute abdomen symptoms?
What the problem is and what its effects are
Consider patients capacity and level of care required
What are the five stages involved in the management of a patient presenting with acute abdomen symptoms?
What should be done in the resuscitation of a patient presenting with acute abdomen symptoms?
Restore circulating fluid volume
Ensure tissue perfusion
Enhance tissue oxygenation
ensure adequate pain relief
What tests should be done in the investigation of a patient presenting with acute abdomen symptoms?
Ward tests - urine
Lab tests - FBC, LFTs, U&Es
Radiology - plain, US and CT
Laparoscopy vs. laparotomy
When is observation of a patient presenting with acute abdomen symptoms useful?
When diagnosis is uncertain and the risk of alternative intervention is greater