Appendicitis in Children – Symptoms and Diagnosis

Appendicitis is a very common disease condition in children. It can lead to serious complications after its manifestation. Appendix is a small finger-like appendage adhered to the colon that is situated in lower right side of abdomen. It opens into the colon but when the opening gets blocked, the appendix bulges and gets infected. It could burst within 2 to 3 days after the symptoms arise.

It affects children of age 11-20. It is observed that appendicitis would usually occur in the months October to may. A family history of the condition may also increase the risk.

Appendicitis Symptoms

Appendicitis symptoms in children are almost similar as in adults. The main problem is that the children cannot express the pain and diagnosis cannot be made clearly in some cases. Hence, it is up to the parents to diagnose the condition and take the child to the doctor. The signs and symptoms a child shows are:

  • Abdominal pain especially in the lower right side of abdomen
  • Bloated and swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent urination
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low grade fever

Diagnosis of Appendicitis in Children

Appendicitis in children is often mistaken with other disease conditions. Hence the medical professional conducts a complete physical check-up and studies the family history.

  • The two safest methods of diagnosing the condition include ultrasonography and tomography. These two techniques help in studying the abdominal cavity and appendix structure.
  • An other diagnostic method is measuring the leucocytes and white blood cells count. A low level of leucocytes and high level of white blood cells is a diagnostic feature of appendicitis in children.
  • A physical pressure test of the area
  • Urine and pathological tests
  • X-rays of thoracic and abdominal areas
  • CT scans are taken in-case diagnosis seems to be confusing

Early diagnosis of the condition helps in treating appendicitis in children effectively. Delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis may lead to complications.

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