[CG] Abdominal pain, telephone advice - Maternity Assessment guideline


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All telephone calls for abdominal pain should be categorised if possible into severe or mild/moderate. Gestation should then be confirmed and the following advice given:

Severe Abdominal Pain:

The woman is clearly distressed –

If unbooked at ≤ 16+6 weeks

  • Advise to attend A & E.
  • Inform A & E to expect patient.
  • Alert Gynaecology Middle Grade On-Call. If not available contact On-Call Consultant Gynaecologist.

If booked for confinement or ≥ 17+0 weeks

Review in Maternity Assessment.

Mild to moderate abdominal pain:

The woman is able to describe her pain without distress – identify any support she has available.

If the pain is accompanied by SROM, PV bleeding or uterine activity refer to appropriate guidelines.

Through appropriate questions, the midwife may be able to determine the cause of pain as being:

1. Gastrointestinal

  • Epigastric pain with no other symptoms or significant past history advise Antacid and call back if not resolved within 30-45 minutes attend for blood pressure and urine check.
  • Colicky pain associated with diarrhoea/vomiting. Advise increase fluids and see GP within 24hrs if no improvement. If diabetic or on steroids direct to attend Maternity Assessment Unit.
  • Constipation Advise high fibre diet, increase fluids, laxative from GP or midwife.

2. Urinary symptoms
High temperature with or without dysuria, advise see GP ASAP or alternatively attend Maternity Assessment. Advise Paracetamol and warn to avoid NSAID.

Refer to current flu guidelines for advice at www.nhsggc.org.uk

4. Musculo-skeletal

  • Ligamentous i.e. groin or hypochondrial which eases at rest, advise simple analgesia.
  • Symphyseal or pelvic pain arrange physio. referral, advise simple analgesia meantime.

Physiotherapy Referral:
Woman should be advised to contact physiotherapy directly during office hours.
If telephone not answered, woman should call back. Some locations may take messages via a reception or answering machine, if so, leave a message and the physiotherapist will return the call within 2 working days.

Hospital Physiotherapy dept telephone number Physiotherapy dept opening hours
Princess Royal Maternity

0141 211 5320

Short code 25320

Monday – Friday 08.15 – 16.15hrs

Royal Alexandra Hospital



0141 314 6765

01475 504373

01389 817569

Monday – Friday 08.30 – 16.45hrs

Monday – Friday 08.30 – 16.45hrs

Monday – Friday 09.00 – 12.00hrs

Southern General Hospital

0141 201 2324

Monday – Friday 08.30 – 16.30hrs

West Maternity Care Centre

0141 232 9461

Short code 59461

Mon 08.30 – 16.00hrs

Tues no service at present Wed 08.15 – 15.00hrs

Thurs 08.00 – 17.00hrs

Fri 08.30 – 16.00hrs

Woman should be advised to contact Maternity Assessment at any time should the symptoms persist or worsen.

Last reviewed: 21 January 2010

Next review: 01 July 2021

Author(s): Sr B Sutherland – Maternity Assessment, PRM; Dr F Mackenzie – Consultant Obstetrician PRM on behalf of GONEC