LABORATORY AND OTHER STUDIES
a. Stool. Fecal matter should be examined for consistency. It should be soft
and brown. Look for blood or pus in the fecal matter. Note if the color is very light tan
or gray or tarry black. Very light tan or gray feces could indicate obstructive jaundice. A
stool which is tarry and black could indicate upper intestinal tract bleeding. Fecal matter
can be tested for blood by use of a chemical guaiac procedure.
b. Gastric Analysis. Perform a gastric analysis by withdrawing the contents of
the stomach through a nasogastric (NG) tube. Laboratory analysis determines
secretions, acidity, undigested food, occult blood, bacteria, tuberculosis (TB) or cancer
cells (CA) analysis.
There is no substitute for a thorough and properly performed examination of any
system. You are less likely to miss important signs by following the suggested
techniques and sequencing discussed.