In the United States in 2002, abdominal pain accounted for 6.5% of all patient visits to the emergency department. A thorough history and physical examination, together with the use of laboratory and imaging studies, remains the best method of evaluation to date.
Marilynn K. Bartley is a Trauma Advanced Practice Nurse, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, Del.
This article adapted from: Bartley MK. Acute abdominal pain: A diagnostic challenge. Nursing2007 Critical Care. 2007;2(6):38–45.