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Non-specific abdominal pain: the resource implications.

By W. G. Sheridan, A. T. White, T. Havard and D. L. Crosby


Non-specific abdominal pain (NSAP) is responsible for a significant proportion of emergency surgical admissions with resultant resource implications. The extent of the problem was assessed in a consecutive group of 100 patients, aged between 15 and 35 years, admitted with lower abdominal pain to one general surgical firm. No less than 67 of these patients (67%) were diagnosed as having NSAP (13.29% of all general surgical admissions), most (75%) being female and having a mean hospital stay of 4.1 days. Only 11 patients (11%) had appendicitis and the remaining 22 had miscellaneous gynaecological, urological or gastrointestinal problems. Detailed analysis of the resources used revealed that the mean cost to the NHS of each case of NSAP was 807 pounds, the bulk of which was attributable to the hospital stay. Wider assessment of the problem (by means of postal questionnaire) suggests that the cost to the NHS in Wales is in the region of 6 million pounds per year and may be over 100 million pounds per year in the UK as a whole

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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