alarm symptom


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

alarm symptom

MedspeakUK A generic term for any symptom that would make any experienced GP in the UK “stand up and take notice.”
Example Painless haematuria in an elderly male, which would trigger a 2-week wait referral. 
MedspeakUS Any of a number of symptoms (e.g., haematuria, dysphagia, haemoptysis, or rectal bleeding) which would cause a reasonable physician to investigate further until a diagnosis (usually of cancer) or a satisfactory explanation has been obtained, including that of serious non-malignant conditions.

alarm symptom

A symptom that raises the concern that a patient may have a severe illness and requires careful evaluation. For example, in patients with digestive illnesses, findings such as anemia, anorexia, bleeding, dehydration, fever, or weight loss are considered alarm symptoms.
See also: symptom
References in periodicals archive ?
Alarm symptoms include unintentional weight loss, vomiting, bleeding and dysphagia.
Under the AGO approach, a patient who gives a history consistent with IBS and has no alarm symptoms or signs-weight loss, fever, rectal bleeding malnutrition, anemia, a low albumin level, or an elevated WBC--can reasonably be assumed to have IBS and can move straight to a therapeutic trial.
23) In general, diagnostic testing is reserved for patients who fail to respond to a trial of adequate medical therapy or for patients who have alarm symptoms of GERD.