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Medical Errors in Diagnosing Appendicitis Can Be Fatal

Apr 10, 2009 | Firm News, Medical Malpractice

Indiana doctors’ errors in the diagnosis of appendicitis can lead to severe injury or death. Appendicitis is the most common cause of emergency surgery for children. Unfortunately, appendicitis is also one of the conditions in children most commonly misdiagnosed by doctors.

The classic signs of acute appendicitis are anorexia, periumbilical pain followed by right lower quadrant pain, fever, and vomiting. However, all of these signs are present in less than 60% of patients who present with appendicitis. Child patients, in particular, rarely present with the classic signs. Because patients with appendicitis can present with widely varying signs and symptoms, physicians must be suspicious of appendicitis in any patient who presents with abdominal pain or discomfort.

Failure to diagnose and treat appendicitis early can lead to perforation of the appendix, an event that can be especially catastrophic for the child patient. When perforation occurs, bacteria is released into the abdominal cavity which can cause peritonitis and, eventually, death.

The Indianapolis medical malpractice law firm of Garau Germano, P.C., has substantial experience handling cases involving misdiagnosis of appendicitis and other conditions. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim.