A patient with peptic ulcers is admitted to the hospital for a suspected perforation. While assessing the patient, the nurse would expect which common symptom of this complication?

Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen

Explanation

• The most indicative symptom of a perforation is abdominal pain that is severe with a sudden onset.

• Bloody stools indicate GI bleeding, but it is not indicative of perforation.

• Bowel sounds may be absent, but this varies.

• Pulses are often weak and rapid when a perforation occurs.

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