Family History Is a Predictor for Appendicitis in Adults in the Emergency Department

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.

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Ileocecal Intussusception in the Adult Population: Case Series of Two Patients

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.

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Spontaneous Rectus Sheath Hematoma

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.

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Lead Toxicity Resulting from Chronic Ingestion of Opium

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.

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Inter-Rater Reliability of Historical Data Collected by Non-Medical Research Assistants and Physicians in Patients with Acute Abdominal Pain

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.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

3800 W Chapman Ave Ste 3200
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389


ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

ISSN: 2474-252X

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.