The Challenge of Assessing and Diagnosing Acute Abdomen in Tetraplegics: A Case Study

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The assessment and diagnosis of an acute abdomen in a spinal cord-injured patient presents a significant challenge to even the most experienced practitioners because of the muted or altered presentations secondary to paralysis. Because the patient with spinal cord injury is at increased risk for peptic or duodenal ulcers and a number of other gastrointestinal emergencies, clinicians need to maintain a high index of suspicion for acute abdomen when working with this population.

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