Monday, May 29, 2006

Blumberg's sign

Monday May 29, 2006
Blumberg's sign

Q: You received call from an old fashioned experienced ER physician to consult a patient with hypotension and positive Blumberg's sign ?

Do you know what is Blumberg's sign ?

A; Sudden release of steadily applied pressure on a suspected area of the abdomen cause sudden stab of pain - an indication of peritonitis. Yes its another name of rebound tenderness. Ideal technique requires to watch patient's face to assess severity of pain while doing above maneuver (there is an innocent tendency to watch abdomen).

Historically this maneuver was described to assess peritoneal inflammation as an early sign of appendicitis by pressing hands over
McBurney's point *. Sign was first described by a german surgeon and gynaecologist, Jacob Moritz Blumberg (1873 -1955).

* McBurney's point is located one third of the distance along a line from the front of the right pelvic bone and the belly button (click to see image).