Abdominal pain

A systematic approach to evaluating the clinical findings  leads to an appropriate differential diagnosis and the ability to formulate an appropriate management plan. It is important to exclude life threatening conditions, remember common things occur commonly, and non specific abdominal pain is common in young people.

Learning objectives

  • To appreciate the importance of a framework for a systematic approach to decision-making in the assessment of abdominal pain,
  • To appreciate that every patient does not need a CT or ultrasound.
  • To understand the most important decision for a surgeon to make is the need for an operation (see point 2)
  • To appreciate that decision making is different in elderly patients

Recommended pre reading

  • Hughes T & Cruickshank J. Adult Emergency Medicine at a Glance. Chichester, West Sussex, UK : John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Chapter 19 Abdominal pain. Chapter 20 Urology problems. Chapter 40 Gastroenterology. 
  • Pre-lecture quiz to be completed prior to the lecture: Download here  or complete online.

Learning Resources - presentations and self directed workbook cases 

Other learning resources