ACTION STAT: Ruptured ectopic pregnancy
Deborah Young BSN, RN, CEN, SANE-A

July 2010 
Volume 40  Number 7
Pages 72 - 72
  PDF Version Available!

ACCOMPANIED BY HER HUSBAND, Tiffany Blackmore, 31, arrives at your ED complaining of severe lower abdominal and right shoulder pain. She tells you that the pain started suddenly 2 hours ago, and she also noticed some vaginal spotting this morning. Mrs. Blackmore says she feels dizzy and lightheaded; she's pale and diaphoretic.While obtaining Mrs. Blackmore's health history, you learn that she was treated for endometriosis about 5 years ago. She also tells you that she and her husband have been trying to conceive their first baby for the last 6 months. You take her vital signs: BP, 82/44; heart rate, 116; respirations, 22; and SpO2, 95% on room air. Her last menstrual period was 6 weeks ago. You perform a point-of-care pregnancy test; it's positive. She rates her pain as 8 on a 0–10 pain intensity rating scale. During your physical assessment, you note abdominal tenderness and guarding.Based on Mrs. Blackmore's history and clinical status, you suspect a ruptured

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