Pediatric Abdominal Emergencies

Robert W. Schafermeyer

History Evaluation

KeySymptoms

Pain

Vomiting Diarrhea Constipation

Bleeding Jaundice Masses

Diagnosis., and ...Manag.em.e.nt..of Selected ..Emergencies GastrointestinalEmergencies jnjnfants. „in.the, ..First..Yea,r...of. .Life

Gastrointestinal.Emergencies jnChlldren.. 2...Yea,rs... and,. .Older

Pancreatitis

Intraabdominal.. Masses

Foreign Bodies. in. . the Gastrointestinal.. Tract

Portal Hypertension

Chapter. References

Evaluation of abdominal emergencies in childhood presents a diagnostic challenge. Some diseases are common to both adults and children and others are age specific, such as congenital anomalies, volvulus, and Hirschsprung disease. One must understand the differential diagnoses of the presenting symptoms, recognize the clinical manifestations of the more common and life-threatening diseases, and be sensitive in approaching infants and children.

One can classify abdominal disease processes in several ways. Is the child febrile or afebrile? Does the disease appear to be obstructive or nonobstructive, abdominal or extraabdominal in nature? Is it due to a local process, or is it systemic? Does the child appear healthy and happy or sick and septic?

The child's age influences the presenting signs and symptoms significantly. The spectrum of pathologic gastrointestinal (GI) conditions of a 2-day-old infant is vastly different from that of a 2-week-old, and both are quite different from that of a 2-year-old.

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