Health Questions and Answers

Archive for August, 2007

QUESTION: What are the pitfalls in evaluating elderly patients with acute abdominal pain?

Friday, August 31st, 2007

ANSWER: Advanced age may blunt the manifestations of acute abdominal disease. Pain may be less severe; fever often is less pronounced: and signs of peritoneal inflammation, such as muscular guarding and rebound tenderness, may be diminished or absent. Elevation of the white blood cell (WBC) count is less sensitive in the elderly: In patients older […]

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QUESTION: What is the relationship of peritoneal inflammation to loss of appetite?

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

ANSWER: Anorexia Nausea Vomiting are directly proportional to the severity and extent of peritoneal irritation. The presence of appetite does not rule out a surgically significant inflammatory process, such as appendicitis• A retrocecal appendicitis with limited peritoneal irritation may be associated with minimal gastrointestinal upset, and 1/3 of all patients with acute appendicitis do not […]

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