Acute urological emergencies
Adam Jones, Kevin Turner, and Ashok Handa discuss the most common conditions
Most urological complaints are not emergencies. There may well be serious underlying pathology such as bladder, prostate, or renal cancer, but rapid action is rarely required. However, although most hospitals now have a specialised urological department, it is not uncommon for general surgical house officers to cover urology patients or admissions. Similarly, urological complaints comprise a large part of general practice workload.
In the remainder of this article we cover four urological emergencies that you might come across where emergency management decisions do make a difference.
If you think there is any suggestion of cord compression get a senior opinion urgently and request a CT or MRI scan. Corticosteroids may reduce oedema of the cord. In metastatic prostate cancer some kind of androgen deprivation, if not commenced already, will also be necessary.
As a surgical or urological house officer you will probably admit one patient with renal colic almost every