10 Injury Treatment Priorities at the Emergency Room

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is the over-arching term for symptoms that include stomach pain, cramps and spasms, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 17 percent of patients who visit the ER with these complaints are diagnosed with a serious condition [source: Meisel].

The cause of abdominal pain can be caused by something as mild as indigestion and menstrual cramps or as urgent as appendicitis and angina. Some life-threatening conditions like a heart attack, aneurysm or ectopic pregnancy may also feel like stomach pains. Because the condition could be life-threatening, patients with these complaints are given high priority. Diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain is often a puzzle that can require multiple diagnostic tests, such as blood work and CT scans. In the end, the three most common causes of abdominal pain are no acute condition, followed by renal colic (pain usually associated with kidney stones) and intestinal obstruction.