What is the significance of vital signs in the evaluation of elderly persons with abdominal pain?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: E David Bryan, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

A thorough physical examination can help to identify the underlying cause of abdominal pain. In general, findings on abdominal examination tend to be less pronounced than in younger patients. Give special attention to the following systems:

Vital signs

Tachycardia or hypotension may be signs of ruptured AAA, septic shock, GI hemorrhage, or volume depletion.

Take a rectal temperature to detect fever or hypothermia.


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