In a retrospective study of children with abdominal pain in a pediatric emergency department, 371 children were identified during four seasonally diverse months. Half of the children were two to six years old, 32% were seven to 11 years old, and 19% were 12 to 16 years old. Forty-eight different diagnoses were made, but 10 diagnoses were given to 83% of the patients. We found an increased frequency of respiratory illnesses (12%) as compared to other studies. Appendicitis was the only surgical problem that occurred in more than one percent of the children. The diagnoses were classified as medical (64.4%), surgical (6.5%), and nonspecific (29.1%). χ2 and multinomial logit analysis revealed that guarding and abdominal tenderness were the two symptoms which were most strongly associated with a surgical diagnosis. The goal of this work is to assist the busy emergency clinician with the difficult task of making expeditious and accurate diagnoses for children with abdominal pain.
- Abdominal pain
- Surgical abdomen
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Emergency Medicine