Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis
Posted in Medical Malpractice on January 29, 2021
Appendicitis, or the inflammation of the appendix, is a common but potentially life-threatening condition in the United States. According to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, approximately 7% of Americans will develop appendicitis in their lifetimes.
Without prompt treatment, appendicitis can worsen and potentially burst, leading to serious complications such as localized infections or peritonitis. Although it is a common condition, some negligent medical professionals may fail to diagnose appendicitis until these adverse events occur.
Appendicitis Signs and Symptoms
The appendix is a small, finger-shaped organ located in the lower right side of your abdomen. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed, usually due to a blockage in the lining of the organ itself. When the appendix is blocked, bacteria rapidly multiply, leading to swelling, pus, and inflammation.
Symptoms of appendicitis include the following.
- Sudden pain in the lower right side of your abdomen
- Sudden pain that begins around the belly button and shifts to the lower right side of the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- A low-grade fever that worsens over time
- Pain that worsens when you cough, walk, or move abruptly
- Abdominal bloating and flatulence
- Loss of appetite
- Pain that occurs in the upper abdomen, if you are pregnant
If you experience any signs of appendicitis, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Timely Appendicitis Diagnosis Is Important
To ensure that a patient receives the proper medical care, it is crucial that doctors correctly diagnose appendicitis as quickly as possible. The longer appendicitis goes untreated, the higher the chance that the appendix will rupture, sending the build-up of bacteria throughout your abdomen. This can lead to peritonitis, a dangerous infection that requires life-saving surgery to remove the organ and clean the abdominal cavity.
If your appendix bursts, you may also develop an abscess of pus in your abdomen, which can also contribute to dangerous complications. A surgeon will need to drain the abscess by placing a tube through your abdominal wall and leaving it there for two weeks.
Luckily, appendicitis is a common condition and well-trained and competent doctors should be able to quickly diagnose and treat the disease. However, if you encounter a medical professional who fails to diagnose your condition, you could develop these dangerous complications.
Filing a Lawsuit Over Appendicitis Misdiagnosis
Doctors can misdiagnose appendicitis for several reasons, from a lack of appropriate questions to identify symptoms to improper physical exams and a lack of suitable diagnostic tests. Failure to diagnose appendicitis is an act of medical malpractice, and you can hold the doctor responsible for the misdiagnosis accountable for your complications.
Medical malpractice lawsuits allow you to collect compensation for the damages associated with the act of negligence. In appendicitis misdiagnosis cases, patients often claim funds for past and future medical expenses to treat resulting complications, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one due to appendicitis misdiagnosis, you could also pursue compensation for wrongful death damages, such as burial and funeral expenses.
Lawyer On Your Side
If you plan on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor responsible for your misdiagnosis, you need a Kansas City personal injury lawyer on your side. Your attorney will have the skills and resources to hold the professional accountable and seek your optimal pathway to maximum compensation. Contact your attorney as soon as possible following the misdiagnosis to discuss your legal options.