MISDIAGNOSIS OF APPENDICITIS
What is the Appendix?
The Appendix is a 3.5 inch-long tube of tissue that extends from the large intestine. The appendix has no known function. One theory is that the appendix acts as a store for good bacteria, â€śrebootingâ€ť the digestive system after diarrhoea.
What is Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the Appendix.
Doctors are not sure what causesÂ appendicitis, but it seems linked to theÂ appendix becoming blocked often by infection, stool, a foreign body, or cancer.
Almost all cases of appendicitis are treated as medical emergencies, requiring surgery.
An inflamed appendix will eventually burst, or perforate, causing infectious materials to be released into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity’s lining (the peritoneum) that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics.
Sometimes a pus-filled abscess (infection that is walled off from the rest of the body) forms outside the inflamed appendix. An abscessed appendix can perforate or explode and cause peritonitis.
What are the symptoms?
The main sign of appendicitis is pain, whichÂ usually starts in the middle of the abdomenÂ and initially may come and go but within hours becomes constant and severe and moves towards the lower right side overÂ the appendix. Pressing on this area, coughing, moving or walking may all make the pain worse.
You may also experience other symptoms, including:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick
- loss of appetite
- passing more urine than usual
- Painful urinationÂ and difficulty passing urine
- Inability to pass wind
- a high temperature (fever) and a flushed face
- Occasionally, the symptoms do not follow the patternÂ described above. For exampleÂ the pain may developÂ more slowly over a period of days or weeks,Â affecting different areas of the abdomen back, or rectum.
.Appendicitis can be confused with other conditions, such as:
- severeÂ irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- bladder orÂ urine infections
- Crohn’s disease
- pelvic infection
In young women, these symptoms can sometimes have a gynaecological cause, such as an ectopic pregnancy or menstrual pain.