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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 422-425

Clinical profile of non-traumatic acute abdominal pain presenting to an adult emergency department

Department of Emergency, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Moses A. K. Jegaraj
Department of Emergency, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.161344

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Background: Abdominal pain is one of the most common reasons for presenting to the emergency depatment (ED) and the etiology is varied. Materials and Methods: This prospective observational study was conducted in a large ED of a tertiary care center in India. All patients older than 15 years and presenting with non-traumatic abdominal pain to the ED from May 2012 to October 2012 were recruited and the demographic characteristics, diagnosis and outcome were analyzed. Results: The study cohort included 264 patients over a 6 month period. More than half (55.6%) were aged between 15 and 40 years. There was a male predominance (56.8%). Majority of the patients (76.9%) presented with abdominal pain of less than 72 hour duration. The pain was sudden in onset in 54.9% of patients. Dull type was the most common character of pain (36%) followed by colicky type (22.3%). The most common site of pain was the lower abdomen (45.8%). Upper abdominal pain was seen in 26.9% and the pain was generalized in 27.3% of patients. The common causes were uretericcolic (16.3%), urinary tract infection (12.5%), acute pancreatitis (11%), acute appendicitis (10.6%) and acute gastritis (8%). More than half (51.9%) discharged from ED and 37% of cases were managed by the emergency physicians. Surgical intervention was required in 25.8% of patients. The mortality rate was 2.3%. Conclusions: Abdominal pain is a common ED symptom and clinicians must consider multiple diagnoses, especially those that require immediate intervention to limit morbidity and mortality.

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