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Perforated Appendix
Perforated Appendix

Perforated Appendix

If someone is experiencing extreme pain around the area of the appendix, medical professionals should immediately decide whether or not it is appendicitis. If so, treatment should be given without delay. Should this fail to happen, a patient may suffer a perforated appendix, which can lead to serious complications.

What Is A Perforated Appendix?

A perforated appendix is when an appendix becomes so swollen it bursts. This is most likely to occur as a result of appendicitis. Appendicitis is when the appendix become infected with bacteria, making it inflamed and full of pus. This in turn will cause a person to experience severe abdominal pain, as well as symptoms such as fever, constipation, and sickness.

Apart from the symptoms described above, medical staff do not have the means of making a quick diagnosis of appendicitis. Scans can be arranged, but these take time which can be costly. More often than not a surgeon will simply decide whether or not to perform surgery: only then will it become obvious if the appendix needs to be removed.

Due to the common nature of the symptoms and difficultly in making a swift diagnosis, a patient with appendicitis may be misdiagnosed. Most commonly, patients with appendicitis can be told they have a urine infection or pelvic inflammatory disease instead. This can be extremely dangerous, as an inflamed appendix needs urgent attention. If there is a delay, it is possible that a patient's condition will deteriorate, potentially leading to a perforated appendix.

Complications Of A Perforated Appendix

A perforated appendix means that the contents of the intestine will leak into the abdominal cavity. This is very serious, and can lead to a number of complications, including:-

  • Peritonitis (infection of the abdomen membrane);
  • Abscesses in the abdomen;
  • Infection of the blood (sepsis);
  • Fatality.

Perforated Appendix And Medical Negligence

A perforated appendix is a known risk of untreated appendicitis, and all measures should be taken to prevent the appendix bursting. Otherwise, a patient can be left to suffer a number of serious complications, and in the most serious cases may even lead to death.

If a perforated appendix is not prevented, then it is possible the perforation occurred as a direct result of negligent treatment. While each case is different, medical negligence claims usually arise because appendicitis was not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion, or was misdiagnosed entirely.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a perforated appendix and you would like some advice on whether it could have been prevented, you should contact a medical negligence solicitor. It may be that your treatment fell below the accepted standard of care, and you could claim compensation for your suffering.

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Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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