Congenital and acquired umbilical hernias: examination and treatment
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Congenital and acquired umbilical hernias: examination and treatment

Anthony Summers Nurse practitioner, Redlands Hospital emergency department, Cleveland, Queensland, Australia

Anthony Summers outlines how urgent care staff should recognise and treat defects in the anterior abdominal wall in children and adults

Many adults and children with painful swellings to the abdomen present to emergency departments (EDs) and are diagnosed with umbilical hernia. Some of these patients require urgent surgery because the hernia has become incarcerated or strangulated, while others can be discharged home safely. This article explains what an umbilical hernia is and what causes it, and discusses how the abdomen should be examined. The article also reviews potential management techniques in EDs and how nurse practitioners can explain the condition to the patients concerned.

Emergency Nurse. 21, 10, 26-28. doi: 10.7748/en2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 25 October 2013

Accepted: 02 February 2014

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