Managing hypopituitarism in emergency departments
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Managing hypopituitarism in emergency departments

Jeanette Welsh Practice development and safeguarding lead in unscheduled care, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital emergency department, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Jeanette Welsh presents a case study in which a patient with an unusual condition presented hospital staff with unfamiliar challenges

Healthcare professionals manage patients with a vast range of conditions, but often specialise and acquire expertise in specific disease processes. Emergency and pre-hospital clinicians care for patients with various conditions for short periods of time, so have less opportunity to become familiar with more unusual conditions, yet it is vital that they have some knowledge and understanding of these.

Patients with rare conditions can present at emergency departments with common complaints, but the effect of their original diagnosis on the presenting complaint may be overlooked or underestimated.

This article uses a case study to describe the experience of one patient who presented with vomiting, but who also had hypopituitarism and therefore required specific management she did not at first receive.

The article describes hypopituitarism and the initial management of patients with this condition who become unwell, and discusses how the trust responded to the patient’s complaint to improve patient safety and care. It has been written with the full participation and consent of the patient and her husband.

Emergency Nurse. 23, 6, 32-37. doi: 10.7748/en.23.6.32.s24


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 02 June 2015

Accepted: 07 September 2015