04. tbl. 97. árg. 2011

One year follow-up of patients discharged from the emergency department with non-specific abdominal pai

Afdrif sjúklinga með óútskýrða kviðverki á bráðamóttöku

Objective: Non-specific abdominal pain (NSAP) is the most common diagnosis of patients presenting to emergency departments (ED) with abdominal pain. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate how many NSAP patients were re-admitted within 1 year to the ED with abdominal pain.

Material and methods: Included were all patients discharged with NSAP from adult EDs of Landspítali University Hospital (gynecology and pediatric EDs excluded), from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005. Hospital records for patients re-admitted within 12 months with abdominal pain were reviewed. Symptoms, pain location, blood tests and imaging results were registered, also the subsequent discharge diagnosis at re-admission.

Results:Out of 62.116 patients attending the EDs in 2005, 1411 (2.3%) were diagnosed with NSAP. During 12 months, 112 of these 1411 patients (7.9%) were re-admitted to the ED with abdominal pain, most of them ≥2 times. Out of 112 patients, 27 (24.1%) were discharged with a more specific diagnosis; cholelithiasis (29.6%), appendicitis (18.5%) and gastrointestinal cancer (7.4%) being the most common diagnosis. The other 85 (76%) patients were diagnosed with NSAP again. Surgery was performed in 17 of the 27 (63%) cases and 8 received specific treatment, most often antibiotics.

Conclusion: Almost 8% of discharged NSAP patients were re-admitted within a year for abdominal pain. At re-admission, one of four patients received a more specific diagnosis, most often cholelithiasis or appendicitis. Our results suggest that the diagnosis of patients with NSAP, at the first visit to the ED, could be improved.

Gunnarsson OS, Birgisson G, Oddsdottir M, Gudbjartsson T. 

One year follow-up of patients discharged from the emergency department with non-specific abdominal pain. Icel Med J 2011; 97: 231-236

Key words: Abdominal pain, non-specific abdominal pain, prognosis, operations, emergency department

Correspondence: Tómas Guðbjartsson, tomasgud@landspitali.is







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