Pathophysiology and nursing management of acute pancreatitis

Carolyn Johnstone (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acute pancreatitis is a potentially life-threatening condition primarily associated with gallstones or prolonged and excessive alcohol intake. Although the initial triggers of the condition can vary, the resulting pathophysiology is broadly similar irrespective of the cause. This article explores the pathophysiology of the main causes of acute pancreatitis, and discusses nursing management of the condition in the acute setting and the long-term issues to consider. It also outlines the conservative management of the condition, which includes pain management, provision of fluids and nutritional care. In the management of acute pancreatitis, nursing care can often overlap with medical management, especially as the condition deteriorates. Therefore, it is important that nurses develop comprehensive knowledge of the management of acute pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11179
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Standard
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2018


  • abdominal pain
  • acute pain
  • alcohol
  • endocrine system
  • fluid management
  • gastroenterology
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • gastrointestinal system
  • hydration
  • nutrition
  • pain
  • pancreas
  • pancreatitis
  • public health

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