One of these conditions is appendicitis. This condition occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed. Many who experience this condition experience pain in the lower right portion of their abdomen, but most feel the pain initiate around their belly button. Although this pain may be the most common symptom, other signs may include vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, decreased appetite and worsening pain upon coughing. When not treated quickly, which usually means removal of the appendix, the appendix can rupture.
Since an appendix only ruptures once bacteria has caused a blockage, such a rupture can quickly spread infection throughout an individual’s body. If the infection is not handled quickly enough, then a patient may suffer from a worsened condition, which may end in death.
Although a physical exam should be enough to allow a doctor to identify appendicitis as a potential culprit of abdominal pain, additional confirmatory testing can be conducted. A blood test, for example, may show indications of an infection in the body, and a urine test can help eliminate a kidney stone as the source of pain. Imaging tests, such as an X-ray or CT scan, may also assist in identifying whether appendicitis is a correct diagnosis.
If a doctor fails to take the appropriate steps to diagnose and treat appendicitis, and a patient suffers harm as a result of that failure to diagnose, then a medical malpractice lawsuit may be justified. Every case is different, though, so it may be important to discuss one’s unique set of circumstances with a qualified attorney before moving forward with a claim.