SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Pediatric appy

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by stretched, May 14, 2014.

  1. stretched

    stretched Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2004
    Question for the attendings regarding pediatric abdominal pain:

    What is your criteria for sending labs for a kid with complaint of abdominal pain?

    I've been sending these kids with cc: abdominal pain +/- vomiting home with no labs and just 12-24 hr follow up if they have no tenderness to palpation, jumps, coughs and has normal exam on arrival.

    A lot of my colleagues seem to insist on doing labs, for these kids, then getting u/s if there is a white count elevation or CRP elevation.

    I know the PAS score takes WBC elevation into consideration, and so does the alvarado score.

    Curious what your criteria is for sending labs on kids complaining of abdominal pain?

  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. GeneralVeers

    GeneralVeers Globus Hystericus Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Depends on age and abdominal exam. If the kid is old enough/verbal enough for me to get any kind of decent exam, then if it's not appendicitis I would discharge with 12-hour followup. If the kid is too young, then I treat it like a veterinary case and get labs/US.
  4. dotcb

    dotcb --------- 10+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2001
    Rarely do any work-up for peds abd pain. Key point: you want a specific test, not a sensitive test. The only 2 tests I do w/ any regularity for peds abd pain are UA'S and RLQ US, which is usually nondiagnostic and leads to a CT. If I order the US, I order a BMP and CBC, and often a UA.
  5. Rendar5

    Rendar5 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2003
    First off WBC is bs in apply. Sure it's high in most, but I've had plenty of pts with rlq ttp and no wbc, fever, nause, anorexia, or vomiting have clear cut appy.

    Abdominal pain and fever are also bs as complaints. All that matters is physical exam EXCEPT in the case of a recently ruptured appy, in which case history is everything.

    If they are ttp in the rlq, they get imaging, period. The only thing that might dissuade me is more than 50 wbcs in urine.
    If they are non tender, unless they just had their pain drop from 10 to 2 a couple hours prior, there is essentially no role for imaging (and yes their hr of 120 was a giveaway.)
  6. Rendar5

    Rendar5 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2003
    My criteria for labs in these kids? If I am imaging them, if I am worried about dka, maaaaybe if the vomiting is bilious, though in that I usually just image without labs. I also check urinalysis if there is some suggestion of uti
  7. bougiecric

    bougiecric 5+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2011
    This doesn't necessarily dissuade me because they may have aseptic pyuria secondary to appendicitis.

    That said, I try to minimize sticking kids as it's almost never fruitful. Agree with above that I do it if I'm already suspicious enough image. I don't agree with the practice of deciding on imaging based on lab results in these cases given the poor sensitivity and specificity of WBCs.
  8. dchristismi

    dchristismi Gin and Tonic 10+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Central Florida
    The single most helpful diagnostic test in a kid with abdominal pain is a zofran challenge.
    Zofran ODT > feel better > PO challenge > home

    If Zofran make the "pain" go away, chances are it was just nausea, and pain and nausea are hard to differentiate under the umbrella of "my tummy hurts."

    I very rarely do labs in kids, especially if they are moving fluidly and are nontender. Bloodwork is never diagnostic and CTs are a ton of radiation. Urine? If fever.

    Now a kid who very gingerly moves onto the stretcher and refuses to jump up and down? That kid may very well get a workup after still feeling puny after zofran. I certainly couldn't walk upright when my own appendix (which HAD read the textbook, thankfully) decided to mutiny.
  9. Birdstrike

    Birdstrike 7+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    Can any of you actually get your radiologists to commit to a positive or negative US scan for appy, without the classic, "correlate clinically and follow up CT if indicated"?
  10. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    I did just last weekend. 6y/o went to the OR. Acute suppurative appy, afebrile, 15.5K WBC, able to jump up and down, vomit x1, U/S positive for appy.
  11. stretched

    stretched Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2004
    Thanks for your replies! All very helpful.
  12. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness Physician 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2007
    As a pediatric resident it seems like the standard of care for the two Peds EDs I have rotated through is to get labs on almost everyone. The problem is that with the Pediatric Appendicitis Score basically anyone who shows any clinical signs of appendicitis (just RLQ pain, just anorexia and vomiting, etc) can meet criteria for screening with US if they have leukocytosis and a left shift.

    PAS 2014 prospective trial: html?sid=8855d2ed-f36d-44cb-9f2b-404eb758fa31

    At the Peds ED we rotate through anyone under 14 with anything that looks remotely like appendicitis (including belly pain of unknown source) gets a CBC. Almost everyone gets a CRP too, but that's not actually part of the PAS so I'm still not sure why. Everyone with a PAS score of > 3 gets an US. If the US can't visualize the appendix or if the read is equivocal they then get an MRI.

    CT is now completely out of the equation at that ED, BTW. Unless you're really in the middle of nowhere, maybe transfer to a Peds ED if you have a PAS>3, equivocal US, and no available MRI on site?
  13. WilcoWorld

    WilcoWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    Tangentially related - the Pediatrician who I diagnosed with appendicitis a couple weeks back had a WBC = 8. It was curious, but would've been amusing had the doc been a surgeon.
    TimesNewRoman likes this.

Similar Threads
  1. jimjones
  2. boiler
  3. 2thgirl
  4. militarymd
  5. katmalon

Share This Page