A 10-year-old girl is brought to the emergency department by her parents because of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The nurse suspects acute appendicitis. It would be most important to obtain which of the following?

Time of last meal

Explanation

• When a child is admitted due to suspected acute appendicitis, it is important to keep the child NPO and to determine when the child last ate. If the diagnosis is confirmed, surgery will be performed without delay as an emergency measure.

• Treatment for appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix by laparoscopy because there is a risk of rupture from inflammation of the appendix.

• Symptoms of appendicitis include nausea, vomiting, RLQ and periumbilical pain, and anorexia. Vomiting usually follows the onset of pain. Fever may follow.

• Vomiting that precedes pain is suggestive of an intestinal obstruction.

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