Introduction: A family history of appendicitis has been reported to increase the likelihood of the diagnosis in children and in a retrospective study of adults. We compare positive family history with the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in a prospective sample of adults.
Conclusion: Adults presenting to the emergency department with a known family history of appendicitis are more likely to have this disease than those without.
Repeat visits to an emergency department (ED) within a short period of time for recurring or continuing abdominal pain should make physicians suspicious for relapsing or episodic disease processes. I present a case of a 17-year-old female with cecal volvulus found only after multiple ED visits.
Intussusception is a condition found primarily in the pediatric population. In the adult population, however, intussusception is usually due to a pathological process, with a higher risk of bowel obstruction, vascular compromise, inflammatory changes, ischemia, and necrosis. Radiographic and sonographic evidence can aid in the diagnosis. Surgical intervention involving resection of affected bowel is the standard of care in adult cases of intussusception.
Abdominal wall pathology is a frequently overlooked cause of acute abdomen. Increasing use of antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies has led to an increase in the incidence of spontaneous rectus sheath hematoma (RSH). A high index of suspicion is needed for diagnosis as it can closely mimic other causes of acute abdomen. Herein, we report a case of RSH presenting with abdominal pain in which there was a significant delay in diagnosis. We wish to highlight the need to increase awareness among primary and emergency physicians about considering RSH in the initial differential diagnoses of abdominal pain.
A 32-year-old man presented to the emergency department (ED) with lower abdominal pain and constipation. He related chronic ingestion of large amounts of opium. Physical examination showed mild abdominal tenderness and gingival discoloration. Diagnostic studies showed a mild hypochromic, microcytic anemia with basophilic stippling of the red blood cells. Abdominal imaging showed no intra-abdominal pathology. A diagnosis of lead toxicity was confirmed through serum lead levels. The patient was put on chelation therapy and his signs and symptoms started to resolve. As a comprehensive search for other sources of lead was unsuccessful, opium adulterants were considered as the culprit. Chemical analysis of the opium confirmed this. Contaminated drugs have been reported as a source of exposure to toxins such as arsenic or lead. While other reports deal with patients from clinics, this report illustrates lead toxicity from ingestion of contaminated opium in the ED.
In many academic emergency departments (ED), physicians are asked to record clinical data for research that may be time consuming and distracting from patient care. We hypothesized that non-medical research assistants (RAs) could obtain historical information from patients with acute abdominal pain as accurately as physicians.
A 41-year-old African American female with a history of alcoholism in remission developed acute vomiting, chills, and severe left upper quadrant abdominal pain while climbing Mt. Fuji (Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan).