Revista Colombiana de Cirugía
Print version ISSN 2011-7582
BEJARANO, Mónica; GALLEGO, Cristal Ximena and GOMEZ, Julián Ricardo. Frequency of acute surgical abdomen in patients consulting the emergency service. rev. colomb. cir. [online]. 2011, vol.26, n.1, pp. 33-41. ISSN 2011-7582.
Introduction. Abdominal pain is a frequent cause of consultation in the emergency services, and it is the responsibility of every physician to fully know its characteristics in order to take prompt clinical decisions, for the final result will depend on the opportune diagnosis. Objective. To determine the characteristics of the abdominal pain and the frequency of acute surgical abdomen in patients that consulted the emergency service of Clínica Rafael Uribe Uribe in Cali, Colombia, during the period January to July 2009. Materials and methods. Descriptive observational transverse study or prevalence study selecting patients older tan fifteen years that consulted because of abdominal pain. Data taken from the medical records were submitted for central trend calculations. Results. 146 patients that consulted between January and July 2009 were evaluated, finding that they represented 5.1% of the emergency service consultations and that 23.3% of them presented an acute surgical abdomen. Because of the type of patients that consulted our institution, half of the patients were older than 50 years. The female gender was predominant, as well as the history of arterial hypertension; 48% consulted during the first 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. Main causes for operation were biliary diseases (35.3%), acute appendicitis (26.5%) and abdominal wall hernias (11.8%). Conclusion. Abdominal pain is a frequent cause of emergency service consultation and it appears most important that the general practitioner identifies during the initial clinical evaluation those patients that demand priority evaluation by the general surgeon because of the probability of an acute surgical abdomen.
Keywords : abdominal pain; abdomen; acute; emergency medical services; diagnosis; evaluation.