Volume 9, Issue 1: Gastro-intestinal ObstructionAuthor: Andy Kirk
Gastro-Intestinal Obstruction – Painful to Digest
You have just sat down on station after completing your morning vehicle checks when a call comes through to a 60-year-old male who has a one-hour history of acute abdominal pain and tenderness. On arrival you find an older gent who immediately informs you that he has excruciating abdominal pain and feels sick. How do you best assess and manage this patient?
There are many differential causes of abdominal pain, and aspects of each of the body’s systems can be found within the abdominal cavity. Gastro-intestinal (GI) obstruction can be caused by either a mechanical or a paralytic cause and is a medical emergency. This article outlines the anatomy of the GI tract, signs and symptoms of a GI obstruction and the many differential diagnoses that must be considered as part of your overall assessment of a patient with an acute abdomen. This will enable you to undertake a structured clinical assessment to help inform your direction of management to the benefit of the patient.
Assessment Answers and References
You can check your answers to the quiz and download the references for this article by clicking the links below:
Become a Class VIP!
Sign up to hear about new products, promotions and more! Plus, enjoy a 25% discount and free P&P each month!