Summary Abdominal Pain
This session has looked at abdominal pain and the difficulties with deciding whether there is a serious cause for it or not. It is important to remember the “big sick” picture as with all children, as the serious pathologies will probably have some signs showing they are “big sick”.
This session should have given you some broader ideas on the causes of abdominal pain and the more serious causes dependent on the child’s age. The range of causes is vast and As always history taking is one of the most important skills and listening to both the parent and the child, as although the cause may not be serious, any child in pain is distressing to watch. We hope that through watching the scenario and following discussions with other learners that you have reflected and shared important tips on how to manage these potentially difficult situations.
Abdominal pain is however often not serious, and it is difficult to explain to parents and children that we might not be able to find a cause. Appropriate use of investigations, not too much as to fuel the fire of concern, and not too little as to miss anything serious is important.
And finally we hope you have reflected on developing strategies to discuss difficult subjects such as sexual health with teenagers. Perhaps it’s not the teenager conversation that is difficult, but more often than not is interactions with concerned parents? Have you thought about how you would manage these situations? This link looks at some work done with medical professionals, parents and teenagers to improve their health needs.
Abdominal pain is a vast topic, and problems in every “system” can present with abdominal pain. This makes diagnosing things difficult, but if you recognise the “big sick” and “red flag” signs then you won’t go far wrong.