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Paucis Verbis card: Appendicitis - ACEP Clinical Policy

Posted Jun 18 2010 12:00am
Appendicitis is a common presentation in the Emergency Department. Dilemmas arise when deciding whether to image patients with equivocal symptoms and WBC lab results. Given the risk of ionizing radiation with CT scans, we should ideally minimize the number of CT scans ordered in these patients without mistakenly sending patients home with an early appendicitis. A perforated appendix places the patient at risk for bowel obstruction, infertility (in women), and sepsis.

Where does the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) stand on the critical issues surrounding the evaluation of appendicitis?

This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews the ACEP Clinical Policy on Appendicitis. In the end, the policy conjures up more questions than answers, but a comprehensive presentation of the literature to date and helpful risk-stratification data are provided.

I'm curious, what protocol do you use for your CT scans for ruling out appendicitis? What combinations of PO, IV, and PR contrast do you use, if any? At our site, we use PO and IV contrast.

Feel free to download this card and print on a 4'' x 6'' index card.
[ MS Word ] [ PDF ]

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