The Dangers of a Delay in Diagnosis of Appendicitis

Nov 13, 2019 — by Gary Zucker
Tags: Medical Malpractice

A woman holding her stomach in painWhen medical professionals make egregious mistakes, the effects can be devastating. A medical malpractice attorney can help hold negligent healthcare workers responsible for their actions and recover damages for injured parties.

Overlooking the signs of appendicitis can cause an often easily treated condition to quickly progress to a life-threatening situation. The attorneys of Zucker & Regev, P.C., want to call attention to the dangers of a delay in diagnosis of appendicitis and offer our services in Brooklyn, NY, to those who have experienced this or other medical malpractice injuries.

About Appendicitis

The appendix is a small, slender pouch that extends from the colon at the lower right side of the abdomen. If the appendix becomes blocked, inflammation and infection, called appendicitis, can develop.

One of the first signs of appendicitis is pain that begins around the navel that progresses to the lower right side of the abdomen. As appendicitis worsens, pain will become more severe. Some other symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain that worsens with jarring movements
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal bloating

Why Might a Delayed Diagnosis Occur?

A physician's failure to recognize the signs of appendicitis can have devastating consequences. Unfortunately, there are many structures within the abdomen that can lead to pain, which sometimes leads doctors to overlook the appendix.

A diagnosis of appendicitis may be delayed when pain and other appendicitis symptoms are mistaken for such conditions as:

  • Ovarian cysts
  • Diverticulitis
  • Colitis
  • Gallstones
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Crohn's disease
  • Constipation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gastroenteritis

Complications from Delayed Diagnosis of Appendicitis

Once appendicitis sets in, it's essential that treatment begins as soon as possible. The longer it goes undiagnosed, the greater the risk of complications.

The longer it takes to diagnose appendicitis, the more likely the appendix will rupture. If rupture occurs, bacteria within the inflamed appendix can spread to the abdomen, called peritonitis. Immediate surgery is necessary to remove the appendix and clean the abdominal cavity.

In addition to peritonitis, the infection may spread to the blood and cause sepsis. Sepsis can cause organ damage, tissue damage, or death. Amputation of the fingers or limbs may be necessary in situations of severe tissue damage.

Seeking Compensation for Malpractice

A delay in diagnosing appendicitis can have dire consequences. Once the appendix ruptures, time is even more important because infection can spread and lead to serious complications.

Brooklyn physicians who act negligently and ignore the symptoms of appendicitis or misdiagnose the condition put the lives of patients at risk.

A medical malpractice attorney can help hold physician's responsible for their actions, as well as recover damages for pain and suffering of victims of medical malpractice.

Contact the Attorneys of Zucker & Regev, P.C.

If you or a loved one live in or around Brooklyn and believe you have a medical malpractice claim, you are encouraged to call our law firm at (718) 624-1211 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the legal remedies that may be available to you.

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