Abdomen - Exam 3

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The nurse is percussing the seventh right intercostal space at the midclavicular line over the liver. Which sound should the nurse expect to hear?
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Terms in this set (43)

Abdominal percussion is performed to assess the relative density of abdominal contents, locate organs, and screen for abnormal fluid or masses in the abdomen. The liver is a solid organ which is located in the right upper quadrant and would elicit a dull percussion note. Tympany is heard over air-filled organs such as the stomach and intestines. It is the predominant sound that should be heard over the intestines, because air in the intestines rises to the surface when the person is supine. Resonance is a low-pitched, clear, hollow sound that predominates in healthy lung tissue. Hyperresonance is a lower-pitched, booming sound found when too much air is present such as with gaseous distension of the intestines in the abdomen or emphysema in the lungs.
Percuss and palpate the midline area above the suprapubic bone

The bladder is located in the suprapubic area (above the pubic bone) and if distended would elicit a dull sound when percussed and feel firm to palpation. However, this technique has been found to be unreliable and bedside bladder scanning with ultrasound is commonly used to estimate the bladder volume.

A bulging and stretched abdomen is described as protuberant. A protuberant abdomen is rounded, bulging, and stretched. A scaphoid abdomen caves inward. An obese abdomen appears uniformly rounded with a sunken umbilicus. A hernia is a protrusion of the abdominal viscera through an abnormal opening in the abdominal muscle wall.
Normal abdominal aortic pulsations

Pulsations from the aorta are normally observed beneath the skin in the epigastric area, particularly in thin people who have good muscle wall relaxation. Pulsations of the renal arteries are not visible. The vena cava is a vein, not an artery, and does not have pulsations. Waves of peristalsis are sometimes visible in very thin people and appear as a slow ripple moving obliquely across the abdomen.

Diminished or absent bowel sounds signal decreased gastrointestinal motility which can be caused from inflammation from peritonitis, a paralytic ileus after abdominal surgery, or with a bowel obstruction. Diarrhea, laxative use, and gastroenteritis cause hyperactive, not hypoactive, bowel sounds.
The nurse is watching a new graduate nurse perform auscultation of a patient's abdomen. Which statement by the new graduate shows a correct understanding of the reason auscultation precedes percussion and palpation of the abdomen?"Auscultation prevents distortion of bowel sounds that night occur after percussion and palpation." Auscultation is performed first (after inspection) because percussion and palpation can increase peristalsis, which would give a false interpretation of bowel sounds.The nurse is listening to bowel sounds. Which of these statements is true of bowel sounds?Are usually high-pitched, gurgling, and irregular sounds Bowel sounds are high-pitched, gurgling, and cascading sounds that irregularly occur from 5 to 30 times per minute. They originate from the movement of air and fluid through the small intestine.The physician comments that a patient has abdominal borborygmi. What is the best description of this term?Loud gurgling bowel sounds Borborygmi is the term used for hyperperistalsis when the person actually feels his or her stomach growling. Upon auscultation borborygmi sounds like loud gurgling bowel sounds.During an abdominal assessment, the nurse would consider which of these findings as normal?Tympanic percussion note in the umbilical region Tympany should predominate in all four quadrants of the abdomen because air in the intestines rises to the surface when the person is supine. Vascular bruits are usually not present. Normally the spleen is not palpable. Dullness would not be found in the area of lung resonance (left upper quadrant at the midclavicular line).The nurse is assessing the abdomen of a pregnant woman who states she has been having "acid indigestion" all the time. What does the nurse know that esophageal reflux during pregnancy can cause?Pyrosis Pyrosis, or heartburn, is caused by esophageal reflux during pregnancy.The nurse is performing an abdominal assessment. What types of percussion notes can be heard during abdominal assessment?Tympany, hyperresonance, and dullness Percussion notes normally heard during the abdominal assessment may include tympany, which should predominate because air in the intestines rises to the surface when the person is supine; hyperresonance, which may be present with gaseous distension; and dullness, which may be found over a distended bladder, adipose tissue, fluid, or a mass. Flatness is not a term used to describe a percussed sound. Resonance is a low-pitched, clear, hollow sound that predominates in healthy lung tissue but not in the abdomen.An older patient has been diagnosed with pernicious anemia. This disorder could be related to what condition?Decreased gastric acid secretion Gastric acid secretion decreases with aging and may cause pernicious anemia (because it interferes with vitamin B12 absorption), iron deficiency anemia, and malabsorption of calcium.A patient is reporting sharp pain along the costovertebral angles. What does this symptom most often indicate?Kidney inflammation Sharp pain along the costovertebral angles occurs with inflammation of the kidney or perinephric area. Ovarian infection and liver or spleen enlargement do not cause pain along the costovertebral angles.A nurse notices that a patient has abdominal ascites. What does this finding indicate?Presence of fluid Ascites is free fluid in the peritoneal cavity and occurs with heart failure, portal hypertension, cirrhosis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, and cancer.The nurse notices that a patient has had a black, tarry stool. What should the nurse recognize may cause this finding?Gastrointestinal bleeding Stools may be black and tarry (melena) as a result of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Red blood in stools occurs with localized bleeding in the rectal or anal areas.During an abdominal assessment, the nurse elicits tenderness on light palpation in the right lower quadrant The nurse recognizes this finding could indicate a problem with what structure?Appendix The appendix is located in the right lower quadrant. When the iliopsoas muscle is inflamed, which occurs with an inflamed or perforated appendix, pain is felt in the right lower quadrant. The spleen is in the left upper quadrant; the sigmoid is in the left lower quadrant; and the gallbladder is in the right upper quadrant.The nurse is assessing the abdomen of an older adult. Which statement regarding the older adult and abdominal assessment is true?Abdominal musculature is thinner In the older adult, the abdominal musculature is thinner and has less tone than that of the younger adult, and abdominal rigidity with an acute abdominal condition is less common in the aging person. The older adult with an acute abdominal condition often complains less about pain than the younger person.During an assessment of a newborn infant, the nurse suspects the infant has pyloric stenosis. What finding would cause the nurse to suspect this?Projectile vomiting Significant peristalsis, together with projectile vomiting, in the newborn suggests pyloric stenosis. After feeding, pronounced peristaltic waves cross from left to right, leading to projectile vomiting. One can also palpate an olive-sized mass in the right upper quadrant.The nurse is reviewing the assessment of an aortic aneurysm. Which of these statements is true regarding an aortic aneurysm?A pulsating mass is usually present Most aortic aneurysms are palpable during routine examination and feel like a pulsating mass. A bruit will be audible, and femoral pulses are present but decreased. Such aneurysms are located in the upper abdomen just to the left of midline.During an abdominal assessment, the nurse is unable to hear bowel sounds in a patient's abdomen. How long should the nurse listen before reporting absent bowel sounds?5 minutes Absent bowel sounds are rare. The nurse must listen for 5 minutes before deciding that bowel sounds are completely absent.A patient is suspected of having inflammation of the gallbladder, or cholecystitis. The nurse should conduct which of these techniques to assess for this condition?Test for Murphy sign Normally palpating the liver causes no pain. In a person with inflammation of the gallbladder, or cholecystitis, pain occurs as the descending liver pushes the inflamed gallbladder onto the examining hand during inspiration (Murphy test). The person feels sharp pain and abruptly stops midway during inspiration. The obturator and iliopsoas muscle tests assess for an inflamed appendix. Although a patient with cholecystitis may have rebound tenderness, the presence of rebound tenderness indicated peritoneal inflammation which could be caused by several things so it is not specific to cholecystitis.Just before going home, a new mother asks the nurse about the infant's umbilical cord. Which of these statements is correct?"It should fall off in 10 to 14 days." At birth, the umbilical cord is white and contains two umbilical arteries and one vein inside the Wharton's jelly. The umbilical stump dries within a week, hardens, and falls off in 10 to 14 days. Skin will cover the area in 3 to 4 weeks.Which of these percussion findings would the nurse expect to find in a patient with a large amount of ascites?Dullness across the abdomen A large amount of ascitic fluid produces a dull sound to percussion. Flatness is not a term used to describe a percussed sound. Hyperresonance is a lower-pitched, booming sound found when too much air is present such as with gaseous distension of the intestines in the abdomen, not with ascites or fluid. Tympany normally is the predominant sound heard on abdominal auscultation, but it is not heard with ascites, or fluid, in the abdomen.A 40-year-old man states that his physician told him that he has a hernia. He asks the nurse to explain what a hernia is. Which response by the nurse is appropriate?"A hernia is a loop of bowel protruding through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles." The nurse should explain that a hernia is a protrusion of the abdominal viscera through an abnormal opening in the muscle wall. The nurse should acknowledge the patient's concerns and not tell him not to worry about it or refer him to his physician to explain it. It is not a result of prenatal growth abnormalities.A 45-year-old man is in the clinic for a physical examination. During the abdominal assessment, the nurse percusses the abdomen and notices an area of dullness above the right costal margin of approximately 11 cm. How should the nurse proceed?Consider this finding as normal and proceed with the examination A liver span of 10.5 cm is the mean for males and 7 cm for females. Men and taller individuals are at the upper end of this range. Women and shorter individuals are at the lower end of this range. A liver span of 11 cm is within normal limits for this individual.When palpating the abdomen of a 20-year-old patient, the nurse notices the presence of tenderness in the left upper quadrant with deep palpation. Which of these structures is most likely to be involved?Spleen The spleen is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen. The gallbladder is in the right upper quadrant, the sigmoid colon is in the left lower quadrant, and the appendix is in the right lower quadrant.The nurse is reviewing information on lactose intolerance and learned that in some racial groups, lactase activity (ability to digest and absorb lactose) is high at birth but declines to low levels by adulthood. Which ethnic group has the highest potential for lactose-intolerance symptoms in adulthood?American Indians Millions of American adults have the potential for lactose-intolerance symptoms; while 70-80% of White Americans produce lactase adequately into adulthood, only 30% of Mexican Americans, 20% of African Americans, and no American Indians will maintain adequate ability to digest lactose without adverse symptoms.The nurse is assessing a patient for possible peptic ulcer disease. Which condition or history often causes this disorder?Frequent use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs Peptic ulcers occur when acid in the digestive tract eats away at the inner surface of the stomach or small intestine. The acid can create a painful open sore that may bleed. Peptic ulcers often occur with the frequent use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, alcohol use, smoking, and Helicobacter pylori infections all of which can cause inflammation and irritation to the stomach lining or mucosa.During a change-of-shift report, the student nurse hears that a patient has hepatomegaly. What should the student recognize that this term means?Enlarged liver The term hepatomegaly refers to an enlarged liver. The term splenomegaly refers to an enlarged spleen.During an assessment, the nurse notices that a patient's umbilicus is enlarged and everted. It is positioned midline with no change in skin color. The nurse recognizes that the patient may have which condition?Umbilical hernia The umbilicus is normally midline and inverted with no signs of discoloration. With an umbilical hernia, the mass is enlarged and everted.During an abdominal assessment, the nurse tests for a fluid wave. What condition would produce a positive fluid wave test?Ascites If ascites (fluid in the abdomen) is present, then the examiner will feel a fluid wave when assessing the abdomen. A fluid wave is not present with splenomegaly, a distended bladder, or constipation.The nurse is preparing to examine a patient who has been complaining of right lower quadrant pain. Which technique is correct during the assessment?Examine the tender area last The nurse should save the examination of any identified tender areas until last. This method avoids pain and the resulting muscle rigidity that would obscure deep palpation later in the examination. Auscultation is performed before percussion and palpation because percussion and palpation can increase peristalsis, which would give a false interpretation of bowel sounds.During a health history, the patient tells the nurse, "I have pain all the time in my stomach. It's worse 2 hours after I eat, but it gets better if I eat again!" Based on these symptoms, the nurse suspects that the patient has which condition?Duodenal ulcer Pain associated with duodenal ulcers occurs 2 to 3 hours after a meal; it may be relieved by eating more food. Chronic pain associated with gastric ulcers usually occurs on an empty stomach. Severe, acute pain would occur with appendicitis and cholecystitis.The nurse suspects that a patient has appendicitis. Which of these procedures are appropriate for use when assessing for appendicitis or a perforated appendix? Select all that apply.Test for the Blumberg sign; perform the iliopsoas muscle test Testing for the Blumberg sign (rebound tenderness) and performing the iliopsoas muscle test should be used when assessing for appendicitis. The Murphy sign is used when assessing for an inflamed gallbladder or cholecystitis. Testing for a fluid wave and shifting dullness is performed when assessing for ascites.Structures in the RUQLiver, gallbladder, duodenum, head of pancreas, right kidney and adrenal, hepatic flexure of colon, part of ascending and transverse colonStructures in the RLQCecum, appendix, right ovary and tube, right ureter, right spermatic cordStructures in the LUQStomach, spleen, left lobe of liver, body of pancreas, left kidney and adrenal, splenic flexure of colon, part of transverse and descending colonStructures in the LLQPart of the descending colon, sigmoid colon, left ovary and tube, left ureter, left spermatic cord