What is included in prehospital care for biliary colic or acute cholecystitis?

Updated: Jan 18, 2017
  • Author: Peter A D Steel, MBBS, MA; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
  • Print


Patients with gallbladder colic or cholecystitis usually present in the prehospital setting with severe abdominal pain. Transport patients with minor symptoms to the hospital with an intravenous (IV) line in place and monitor. However, the diagnosis of cholecystitis is not a prehospital diagnosis.

In patients with severe pain (eg, differential diagnosis includes abdominal aortic aneurysm, myocardial infarction) and in patients with hypotension and/or fever who may have cholecystitis or cholangitis, prehospital care should include the following:

  • Prioritizing and immediately assessing airway, breathing, and circulation (ABCs), as with all emergencies

  • Monitoring (pulse oximetry, cardiac monitor, frequent blood pressure measurements, blood glucose measurement)

  • Stabilization (oxygen, placement of 2 large-bore IVs, administration of IV fluids to unstable patients)

  • Rapidly transporting

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!