Introduction: Acute Appendicitis


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Acute Appendicitis: The main symptom of acute appendicitis is abdominal pain or abdominal sensitivity. However, abdominal pain occurs with many conditions and only an estimated 5% of cases of abdominal pain are actually appendicitis. Although uncommon, appendicitis is very serious, and difficulty in diagnosing appendicitis in the emergency department makes appendicitis the 3rd leading cause of malpractice lawsuits. Misdiagnosis of appendicitis is particularly common in children and infants with abdominal pain with estimates of initial misdiagnosis rates from 28% to 57% for under age 2-12 and almost 100% misdiagnosis for appendicitis in infants.

Acute Appendicitis: Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a small portion of the large intestine that hangs down from the lower right side. Although the appendix does not seem to serve any purpose, it can still become diseased. If untreated, an inflamed appendix can burst, causing infection and even death. About 1 in 500 people has appendicitis each year.

Appendicitis may occur after a viral infection in the digestive tract or when the tube connecting the large intestine and appendix is blocked by trapped stool. The inflammation can cause infection, a blood clot, or rupture of the appendix. Because of the risk of rupture, appendicitis is considered an emergency. Anyone with symptoms needs to see a doctor immediately. 1

Researching symptoms of Acute Appendicitis: Further information about the symptoms of Acute Appendicitis is available including a list of symptoms of Acute Appendicitis, other diseases that might have similar symptoms in differential diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis, or alternatively return to research other symptoms in the symptom center.

Misdiagnosis and Acute Appendicitis: Research more detailed information about misdiagnosis of Acute Appendicitis, failure to diagnose Acute Appendicitis, underlying causes of Acute Appendicitis (possibly misdiagnosed), or research misdiagnosis of other diseases

Treatments for Acute Appendicitis: Various information is available about treatments available for Acute Appendicitis, prevention of Acute Appendicitis, or research treatments for other diseases.

Causes of Acute Appendicitis: Research more detailed information about the causes of Acute Appendicitis, other possibly hidden causes of Acute Appendicitis, or other general information about Acute Appendicitis.

Statistics and Acute Appendicitis: Various sources and calculations are available in statistics about Acute Appendicitis, prevalence and incidence statistics for Acute Appendicitis, and you can also research other medical statistics in our statistics center.

         Contents for Acute Appendicitis:

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Appendicitis: NIDDK

Last revision: April 9, 2003

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