Acute Appendicitis In Children - Appendicitis

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Acute Appendicitis In Children - Appendicitis
Acute Appendicitis In Children - Appendicitis

Video: Acute Appendicitis In Children - Appendicitis

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Video: Appendicitis in Children | Symptoms & Treatment 2023, January
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Acute appendicitis in children

The appendicitis (appendicitis) occurs at any age, but preferably between ten and 15 years. It is rare in children under two years of age. There is a familial accumulation. In acute appendicitis, the children complain of abdominal pain, which often begins in the umbilical region and later extends to the lower right abdominal region. Nausea and vomiting almost always occur.

The cause is a displacement of the appendix, for example due to swelling of the mucous membrane, intestinal contents or foreign bodies. Intestinal germs can cause inflammation with abscess formation, which, if penetrated into the abdominal cavity, can lead to dangerous inflammation of the peritoneum (peritonitis)…

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  • How is appendicitis treated?
  • What should I watch out for after the procedure?
  • What to do if there are possible complications
  • Whom can I ask?

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What are the symptoms?

In acute appendicitis, the children complain of abdominal pain, which often begins in the umbilical region and later extends to the lower right abdominal region. Nausea and vomiting almost always occur; mild diarrhea is less common. The children often bend their right leg and avoid the strain when walking. One-leg hopping is usually not possible. With the onset of peritonitis, the abdominal pain becomes more diffuse.

How is the diagnosis made?

There is pressure pain in the right lower abdomen and not infrequently a pain in knocking and letting go on the opposite side. Often there is a difference of more than one degree Celsius between the body temperature measured in the armpit and rectally. Diagnosis is easy with a typical appearance, but more difficult because of the often uncharacteristic symptoms, especially in small children.

Jumping is a good test: asking the child to jump and land on both heels or hop off a low chair. If this doesn't cause pain, appendicitis is unlikely. The laboratory parameters are unspecific. An ultrasound scan can be helpful. If in doubt, the child must be admitted to hospital and reassessed every two to four hours. Important differential diagnoses include the onset of an infectious gastrointestinal inflammation (gastroenteritis), chronic constipation or a urinary tract infection.

How is appendicitis treated?

The appendix is ​​surgically removed, often even on an outpatient basis, which means that the patient can go home on the day of the operation. An appendix operation carried out in good time is now a routine operation with a very low rate of complications. The operation only takes a few minutes and is performed under general anesthesia.

On the day of the procedure, the patient should not eat anything or drink cloudy liquids (coffee, cocoa, tea) for six hours before the anesthesia. Two hours before the anesthesia, clear liquids (mineral, tap water) should not be drunk either.

What should I watch out for after the procedure?

The anesthesia subsides relatively quickly, so that your child will soon be responsive and alert again. After an appendix operation, the patient remains under observation for some time. On the day of the operation, the intestines must be completely spared, ie the child must neither eat nor drink. Therefore, an infusion can be used for artificial feeding.

If it goes well, some tea can be given on the first day after the procedure. Then you start with easily digestible dishes such as rusks and soups. The doctor will inform you of the precise dietary requirements before you are discharged. Until the sutures have been pulled, water contact with the wound should be avoided as much as possible. In the first few weeks after the procedure, the child should take some physical rest. Your doctor will decide when your child can go to kindergarten or school again, depending on the healing process.

What to do if there are possible complications

You should contact your doctor immediately if your child develops a fever or severe pain, or if the wound area is very red.

Whom can I ask?

If acute appendicitis is suspected, a doctor specializing in general medicine, a doctor specializing in paediatrics or an emergency doctor should be consulted immediately or a hospital should be visited.

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