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alarm symptomMedspeakUK 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.
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