Abdominal pain is a common yet infuriatingly nonspecific symptom in children presenting to GPs. Having a well-practised, thoughtful approach to diagnosis and investigation helps differentiate potentially serious conditions from the benign.
- Managing paediatric abdominal pain in general practice begins with a well-considered, confident diagnosis.
- Having an established approach to diagnosis allows a targeted evaluation within the short amount of time available during a consultation.
- Dangerous conditions should first be ruled out by screening for red flags.
- Investigations should be tailored towards confirming or ruling out diagnoses.
- GPs should not hesitate to seek another opinion; well-considered referrals and first-line investigations will facilitate prompt triaging.