<< A Systematic Approach To The Evaluation Of Acute Unexplained Crying In Infants In The Emergency Department

Special Circumstances

The mandate of the emergency clinician is to consider those rare but serious diagnoses in every patient, knowing that, for the majority of patients, common illnesses will be most prevalent. Of the infants who present to the ED with a chief complaint of crying, the majority will not have significant underlying disease. The challenge to the emergency clinician is that once underlying disease is ruled out, there may not be a diagnosis to make in the case of the crying infant. The crying itself may be a manifestation of a normal range of crying behavior, not necessitating a diagnosis, but a discussion with caregivers on crying norms, soothing patterns, resources, and ongoing management at home. Emergency clinicians can play a pivotal role in educating families, destigmatizing crying behaviors, and helping to reduce parental anxiety during infancy, which is an already stressful period of time.

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