Appendicitis - Diagnosis Errors

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:41 by admin
Failure to timely diagnose appendicitis is the third most common medical mistake. Only the misdiagnosis of heart attacks and breast cancer accounts for more medical malpractice litigation.

It is critical that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals recognize the symptoms of appendicitis and take appropriate action immediately. When the appendix becomes inflamed, the patient usually complains of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, fever, and severe pain in the lower right abdomen.

While confirming an appendicitis diagnosis is difficult, when a doctor is presented with a patient exhibiting these symptoms, the standard of care is to immediately operate. Any delay may allow the appendix to rupture, spilling bacteria-laden intestinal contents into the abdomen, which in turn may cause a deadly condition known as peritonitis. In addition, if the bacteria escape into the bloodstream, the patient may develop septicemia, also a potentially fatal condition.

The most common situations in which medical malpractice cases for misdiagnosis of appendicitis are filed involve:

- failure of the doctor to perform a proper physical examination (including failure to apply pressure to the abdomen to gauge pain),
- failure of the doctor to provide follow-up care,
- failure of the doctor to rule out appendicitis,
- failure to impress upon the patient the need to seek further care should the condition deteriorate.

Don't pay for your doctor's negligence. If you are living with the consequences of a misdiagnosis, or if a loved one needlessly died because of a healthcare professional's negligence, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Diagnosis Errors
  2. Appendicitis: Overview
  3. Peritonitis: Overview
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