Our Michigan medical malpractice lawyers frequently represent clients cases against negligent doctors, clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals. One type of case is the failure to properly treat and diagnose the condition of appendicitis.
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch that hangs from the colon on the right side of the abdomen. Appendicitis occurs when this pouch becomes filled with pus. The appendix has no known essential purpose, but it can be a source of potentially severe problems if it becomes infected or inflamed.
Symptoms & Diagnosis of Appendicitis
The primary symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain. This pain usually begins near the center of the abdomen by the navel, and then shifts gradually to the lower right side until it finally settles about midway between the navel and the top of the right pelvic bone. It should be noted that young children and women who are pregnant may experience pain in additional places in their abdomen. In a typical case, pain will increase over a 6 to 12 hour period, and ultimately it may become very severe.
Tests for diagnosing appendicitis usually include a review of the patient's medical history and, at a minimum, physical examination of the abdomen including the right side near where the appendix is located. Abdominal pain associated with appendicitis often becomes more severe immediately after pressure on the appendix is released (rebound pain).
In addition to the physical exam, a doctor may recommend blood, urine, or imaging tests. These tests can specify the problem is appendicitis and rule out other possible problems such as ectopic pregnancy, certain ovarian cysts, kidney stones, and Crohn's disease.
The failure to order such tests can lead to a delay in diagnosing the abdominal pain as appendicitis. If diagnosis and treatment are delayed too long, the inflamed appendix may rupture, releasing infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. This is a medical emergency, which can be extremely serious even if it is treated immediately after the rupture.
Prior to rupture, appendicitis is treated by surgically removing the appendix. In most instances, this is routine surgery from which a patient should be able to fully recover. In some instances, however, medical errors can occur during this surgery. Sometimes, a negligent delay in diagnosis or treatment will require the surgery to be performed under rushed conditions to avoid a rupture.
Contact Our Michigan Appendicitis Lawyers
If you or a loved one have suffered from a misdiagnosis or mistreatment of appendicitis, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You should contact our expert legal team at (800) 606-1717 and an attorney will be available to speak with you right away. We will listen to your story and determine if you have a case. If you do, we will begin work on it immediately. We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement. This is our promise to you.