Happy endingBMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7154.342 (Published 01 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:342
- Patricia Mortimer, retired paediatrician
She had been admitted that Saturday morning as an “acute abdomen,” but the surgical registrar could not make a diagnosis and passed her over to the paediatricians. My senior house officer emphasised her concerns with her first sentence to me over the telephone: “If you don't see her she'll die.”
The girl was almost 4 years old, quiet, and toxic. Severe abdominal pain and vomiting continued. The abdomen was scaphoid and not significantly tender. X ray examinations were unhelpful. The diagnosis was obscure, but it was clear that necrosis was setting in and we persuaded the surgeons that the abdomen should be opened.