Emergency Care for Urgent Situations: Abdominal Pain
When it comes to medical conditions like abdominal pain, it can be hard to know when it is serious and when it is not. This is because, it is one of those conditions that we all likely experience from time to time and can have varied causes from mild ones that we don’t need to worry about, to more sinister ones that are potentially life-threatening and need an immediate visit to the emergency room. In most cases abdominal pain, or as is commonly referred to, stomach pain, is usually nothing to worry about and it is mostly due to eating something our stomachs don’t agree with, leading to maybe constipation or some bloating. Most of such situations can be remedied at home by rest, over-the-counter medications as well as staying away from certain foods until your abdominal pain goes away, such as heavy and spicy foods. The tricky part is usually determining which situations can be handled at home and are not that serious and which ones require immediate medical attention. This is where this article comes in as it will look to highlight how you should proceed in urgent situations concerning abdominal pain.
The first thing you should do is to check on the condition of your abdomen. Here, there are a number of red flags to look out for that will tell you that you need to seek emergency car as soon as possible and head to an emergency room. They include if your abdomen is tender to the touch as well as if your abdomen is extremely hard. If your abdomen appears bruised or it appears to be quickly expanding in size, then you should also head over to an emergency room as soon as possible. Once you are done checking the condition of your abdomen, you should note if you have any other symptoms accompanying your abdominal pain. Here, there are also some red flags to look out for with these symptoms indicating that you need to head over to an emergency room as soon as possible. These symptoms include abdominal pain accompanied with: chest pain or pressure, difficulty breathing, pain in the shoulder or in the neck, fainting, dizziness, coughing up or vomiting blood, vomiting that is persistent, changes in your vision, an inability to have a bowel movement, dark or tarry stools, fever, yellow skin or eyes, white or pale stools or a rapid heartbeat. All these are indicative of something serious and you should head over to an emergency room as soon as you can. Remember, you shouldn’t drive yourself there but you should either call 911 or have someone drive you there as soon as you can.
Other than the accompanying symptoms, you should also ask yourself if you have certain medical conditions or have heard certain recent medical procedures that may be the reason behind your abdominal pain. For instance, if you are pregnant and begin to experience abdominal pain, then you should head over to an emergency room as soon as possible to be assessed. You should do the same if your abdominal pain started soon after you had experienced some sort of abdominal trauma. This may be a sign that you may have internal injuries and you need to be attended to as soon as possible. If you are experiencing abdominal pain and you have recently, say within a week, had an abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure, then you should also seek urgent medical care at an emergency room as soon as you can. This includes cases where you may have only had a diagnostic endoscopy procedure. You should also head over to an emergency room if you begin to experience abdominal pain and have had a gastric bypass surgery, bowel resection or colostomy. This doesn’t have to be recent, rather if you have ever had any of these procedures and begin to experience abdominal pain, then you should head over to an emergency room. You should also either have someone drive you or call 911 rather than driving yourself there.
You should also check for the location of your abdominal pain, which will also help you decide how you should proceed. If for instance your abdominal pain is radiating towards the lower right side of your abdomen, then you should also head over to an emergency room as soon as you can as this is a classic sign of appendicitis which can be life-threatening if the inflamed appendix bursts. It is also advised that if your abdominal pain came on suddenly and seemingly out of the blue, and it is extremely severe, then you should also head over to an emergency room as soon as you can as this is usually a sign of something more sinister, especially an abdominal aneurysm.
Hopefully, the above discussion will help you know when you need to get emergency care for your abdominal pain and as such avoid any unwanted consequences.