The appendix is only 3 ½ inches long and serves no function in our body. Surprisingly, if it becomes infected, the results can be very serious if left untreated. Because of its symptoms which bear similarities to other issues, appendicitis can be undiagnosed and the patient is sent home. If doctors do not take the proper precautions, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed.
Appendicitis is caused when there is a blockage caused by stool, foreign element, or infection that causes inflammation of appendix. Symptoms include:
- A weak pain in the upper abdomen that moves to lower right becoming a sharp pain
- Swelling of the abdomen
- High fever
- Severe cramping
- Painful urination
Doctors must observe these steps when diagnosing appendicitis properly:
- Listen carefully to patient
- Conduct an thorough abdominal exam
- Conduct a rectal exam
- Test blood for any infections
- Order ultrasound or CT scan
- Conduct a urine test
Women of child bearing years are often misdiagnosed as having gynecological problems. Tests must be conducted properly, or appendicitis can be mistaken for a number of other things including:
- Urinary tract infection
- Gallbladder complications
- Ovary problems
- Menstrual cramps
An appendectomy, removal of the organ, is necessary to treat appendicitis. If misdiagnosed and treatment is delayed, the appendix will rupture and infect the abdominal area. This leads to peritonitis, an inflammation of the abdomen. If untreated quickly, the patient can go into shock and the result could be fatal.
Contact us if you or a loved one received a misdiagnosis for appendicitis and in need of a NY medical malpractice lawyer.