ACTION STAT: Renal colic
Ellen Pfadt MSN, RN
Dorothy S. Carlson DEd, RN

December 2011 
Volume 41  Number 12
Pages 72 - 72
  PDF Version Available!

MR. F, 35, ARRIVES in the ED complaining of a sudden onset of severe right flank pain radiating to his right groin. He describes "waves of pain" that wax and wane in severity. Currently, he rates it as 10 on a 0-to-10 pain intensity rating scale. The pain is associated with gross hematuria, -nausea, and vomiting.Mr. F's skin is pale, cool, and diaphoretic. His vital signs are temperature, 98.6o F (37o C); pulse, 120; respirations, 28; BP, 145/92; and SpO2, 98% on room air. You place him on a cardiac monitor, which shows sinus tachycardia.Mr. F is obese (BMI 30) and has a history of gout, for which he takes allopurinol. He has no surgical history but reports a family history of nephrolithiasis (kidney stones). Abdominal assessment is unremarkable, but you note costovertebral angle tenderness.Based on Mr. F's history and your assessment findings, you suspect renal colic secondary to urolithiasis. Renal colic has a sudden onset and produces severe pain when a stone precipitates and lodges

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