Urinary retention, though often chronic, can be an emergency condition requiring immediate medical attention. Quick recognition of the cause and timely bladder decompression are of utmost importance to prevent morbidity and relieve pain. Acute urinary retention can be caused by a variety of conditions, and some causes can lead to permanent impairment if not dealt with promptly.

Approximately 10% of men in their 70s and 33% of men in their 80s report at least one episode of acute urinary retention.2 As a result, limited pelvic exams are among the most common CPT codes claimed by Emergency Department (ED) clinicians. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) enables quick identification of whether or not bladder catheterization is necessary

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