MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE ABDOMINAL PAIN
Keywords:Acute, Abdominal, Pain, Management
Background: Acute abdominal pain (AAP) is one of the most common causes of referral to an emergency department (ED), but information about its impact is limited.
Objectives: The objectives of this article are to define the prevalence of AAP among ED visits in a large university hospital and analyze its main clinical features.
Methods: All patients admitted at the Sant’ Orsola, Malpighi University Hospital of Bologna ED on 12?a priori selected sample days in 2013 were included. General data were recorded for each patient. A total of 192 clinical variables were recorded for each patient with abdominal pain.
Results: During the observation period the ED assisted 2623 patients with a daily admission rate of 219?±?20 (mean?±?SD). Of these, 239 patients complained of AAP as their chief complaint at entry (prevalence?=?9.1%). AAP prevalence was significantly higher in females than in males (10.4% vs. 7.8%; OR?=?1.37; p?=?0.021) as well as in foreign over Italian patients (13.2% vs. 8.5%; OR?=?1.64; p?=?0.007). The most frequent ED operative diagnoses were non-specific abdominal pain (n?=?86, 36.0%) and gastrointestinal (GI) tract-related pain (n?=?79, 33.1%; n?=?19 upper GI, n?=?60 lower GI).
Conclusions: AAP is a common cause of referral at EDs. Despite technological advances, non-specific abdominal pain is still the main operative diagnosis.
Keywords: Acute, Abdominal, Pain, Management
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