Appendicitis is a serious medical condition that is caused by the inflammation of the appendix. If it is left without appropriate treatment, which is likely going to include surgical removal, there is a chance that it will swell until it bursts. This can lead to infectious fluid being spread throughout the abdominal cavity, which can lead to a fatal condition known as peritonitis.
A patient who has appendicitis is likely going to suffer from pain, particularly in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. In some cases, the pain begins near the belly button and moves down to the that area.
Doctors can use a variety of symptoms and signs to determine if a patient has this condition. An elevated white blood cell count, fever and vomiting are common symptoms, but these might not be present if a patient seeks medical care before the inflammation is severe.
Patients who have symptoms that might indicate appendicitis should have testing done to determine if this is the case. Manipulation of the abdomen and blood or urine tests might be necessary. Imaging tests can also be helpful in some instances.
When appendicitis is left untreated, the patient can suffer. Even if a burst appendix doesn't lead to death, the road to recovery can be challenging. Medical interventions and intensive medical care might occur.
If the patient sought medical care and didn't receive a diagnosis and treatment consistent with the expected standard of care, a medical malpractice lawsuit might be in order. This can hold the physician accountable for the substandard care and may provide the patient with monetary compensation for the problem.