Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Has your appendix burst: Y/N (Check One)

Sorry for the title, but the news from Johns Hopkins Children's Center has me thinking of those fifth-grade "do you like me" questions you'd pass to each other as notes. It's actually a serious issue, since it involves sick kids, which is kind of sad, and also vomiting and diarrhea, which is difficult to deal with even in non-life-threatening circumstances.

It's tough to tell the stomach flu from appendicitis--past research shows that half o f appendicitis cases are misdiagnosed when first evaluated by a doctor. That's why the medical center developed a checklist that doctors can run down to make sure that they're not dealing with the potential of a ruptured appendix.

The press release itself just includes four questions, about white blood cell count, abodominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Hopefully, it will lead to fewer cases of ruptured appendices, because doctors will be able to spot the signs earlier.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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