Abdominal Pain – ‘Could he just have a chest film please’?

Author: Peter Cutting / Editor: Peter Cutting / Reviewer: Kathryn Blackmore, Ketan Patel / Codes: Published: 08/12/2022

A 14-year-old boy attends the Paediatric Emergency Department (ED) with a 2 day history of worsening colicky central abdominal pain. In the last 24 hours he has developed persistent vomiting. He has had no diarrhoea. He is afebrile with a slight tachycardia, of 95 bpm, but his other physiological parameters are normal.

  • His PMH includes an appendectomy approximately 5 years ago but nothing else of note
  • He has no allergies
  • On examination his abdomen is a little distended and mildly tender centrally , but he has no overt peritonism
  • The rest of the examination was unremarkable.

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