Appendicitis: A condition that is often misdiagnosed

When appendicitis occurs, it’s a serious medical condition. In some cases, the appendix may burst, which leads to a life-threatening emergency.

Appendicitis causes several common symptoms that a medical provider should be able to identify, such as:

  • Bowel irregularity
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the lower right-hand side of the abdomen

Unfortunately, even an acute attack of appendicitis can be delayed or have a misdiagnosis, because the symptoms may not include lower-right quadrant pain. Some conditions that may be diagnosed instead include:

  • Colitis
  • PMS
  • Ovarian torsion
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Crohn’s disease

Children, in particular, have a high likelihood of misdiagnosis. This is actually a well-known cause of death in children and of medical malpractice lawsuits.

What should you do if you’re misdiagnosed or a delayed diagnosis leads to injury?

If your appendix bursts and you develop sepsis or you end up hospitalized as a result of appendicitis after a misdiagnosis, it may be a good idea to speak with your medical provider about why the misdiagnosis happened. Missing symptoms may be a cause, for example, which may also be reasonable. However, if it was a lack of testing or negligence on the medical provider’s part, then you may be able to pursue a claim against the provider, hospital or other personnel involved in your case.

Our website has more information about how a misdiagnosis could affect you and those you love. It’s your right to pursue a claim if you’ve been hurt as a result of negligence or errors that should have been avoided by a professional in your provider’s role.