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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fecal Impaction with Multisystem Organ Involvement

  • Author(s): Pepe, Joseph
  • Murphy, Melissa M
  • O'Connell, Kevin P
  • Zabbo, Christopher P
  • et al.

Fecal impactions are a common complaint in the emergency department population.  The potential for significant derangement in physiologic processes of other organ systems is often underappreciated.

A 19 year-old male, previously healthy, presented to the emergency department at our institution with complaint of abdominal pain which was found to be secondary to severe fecal impaction.   In the search for alternative diagnoses, imaging was performed which revealed effects on multiple other organ systems.

This case illustrates the secondary effects of a severe fecal impaction.  The emergency physician must be aware of these consequences, as the opportunity to review labs and imaging is not often provided in the standard workup of these patients.

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