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Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1996 Aug;14(3):615-27.

Evaluation of abdominal pain in the elderly.

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Coperhaver, Bell and Associates, Mease Countryside Hospital, Safety Harbor, Florida, USA.


Evaluation of the older patient presents a unique challenge to the emergency physician. The increased age of the population, a high incidence of comorbidity, general poverty of history and clinical signs in acute abdominal conditions, poor reliability of diagnostic procedures, and the variable presentations of diseases with significant morbidity and mortality summarize the problems to be encountered with the complaint of abdominal pain in the elderly. The correct diagnosis is often difficult to establish and coexisting complicating diseases influence the patient's condition and the ED management. The emergency physician must maintain a wide differential and have a low threshold for admission and more extensive evaluation in this patient population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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