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Deteriorating Patient
 
Deteriorating Patient
 

Bowel Sounds

 
 
 
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Overview

Auscultate the abdomen for bowel sounds. First listen in one quadrant and if an abnormality is discovered then listen in each of the three other quadrants.
In order to be sure that bowel sounds are absent, it is important to listen for at least five minutes.
  • Interpretation

  • Gurgling sounds: movement of gas and fluid via peristalsis
  • Borborygmi: loud rumbling sounds due to movement of air within the gut
  • Hypoactive: diminished or absent bowel sounds
  • Hyperactive: extremely increased bowel sounds
  • Hollow, high pitched tinkles: similar to rain on a tin roof, due to liquid and gas under pressure within dilated gut
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