Obstetric Triage Revisited: Update on Non-Obstetric Surgical Conditions in Pregnancy


  • Diane J. Angelini CNM, EdD

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    • Diane J. Angelini, CNM, EdD, FACNM, FAAN is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, Brown University and Director of Nurse Midwifery at Women and Infants’ Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, since 1990.

Women and Infants’ Hospital, 101 Dudley Street, Providence, RI 02905.


New findings and diagnostic advances warrant revisiting key features of acute non-obstetric abdominal pain in pregnancy. Four of the most frequently seen conditions warranting surgical intervention are: appendicitis, cholecystitis, pancreatitis, and bowel obstruction. Because pregnancy often masks abdominal complaints, effectively assessing and triaging abdominal pain in pregnant women can be difficult. Working in obstetric triage settings and triaging obstetric phone calls demand continual updating of abdominal assessment knowledge and clinical skills.