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The Challenge of Assessing and Diagnosing Acute Abdomen in Tetraplegics: A Case Study

Mowrey, Kelly

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:

The assessment and diagnosis of an acute abdomen in a spinal cord‐injured patient presents a significant challenge to even the most experienced practitioners because of the muted or altered presentations secondary to paralysis. Because the patient with spinal cord injury is at increased risk for peptic or duodenal ulcers and a number of other gastrointestinal emergencies, clinicians need to maintain a high index of suspicion for acute abdomen when working with this population.

Author Information

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Kelly Mowrey, MS RN ANP‐C CNRN, at She is a nurse practitioner at South Denver Pulmonary Associates in Englewood, CO.

© 2007 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses