What is included in emergency department (ED) care of abdominal pain in elderly persons?

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

Also note the following:

  • Administer IV boluses of normal saline or lactated Ringer solution to patients with suspected volume loss. Carefully hydrate patients with a history of renal disease or congestive heart failure to avoid volume overload.

  • A Foley catheter may be helpful as a guide for volume resuscitation in patients who are sicker. Incontinence is not an indication for a Foley catheter.

  • Keep all patients with abdominal pain as nothing by mouth (NPO) until surgical pathology is excluded.

  • Place a nasogastric tube in patients in whom bowel obstruction, ileus, or upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is suspected.

  • Maintain a low threshold for ordering additional tests such as computed tomography (CT) scanning or ultrasonography.

  • If biliary disease is suggested, dicyclomine (Bentyl) or glycopyrrolate (Robinul) may be administered for pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) agents are very effective for biliary colic but should be administered with caution to elderly patients.

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