Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose Appendicitis

If appendicitis is not diagnosed in a timely manner, it may lead to severe illness and death.


Failure to diagnose appendicitis is considered medical malpractice if a physician does not take any steps to identify inflammation of the appendix and the risk of rupturing. Whenever appendicitis is not diagnosed by a medical professional in a timely manner, it may cause severe injury or death. To ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis, a number of steps must be followed and specific medical information should be obtained.

Symptoms of Appendicitis

A number of symptoms are associated with appendicitis, but the condition may exist even if some symptoms are not present. The symptoms of appendicitis are as follows:

  • sharp pain along the abdomen or belly button
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting or nausea following abdominal pain
  • fever reaching 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • swelling of the abdomen
  • incapable of passing gas
  • sharp or dull pain along the rectum, lower back, or upper abdomen
  • pain while urinating

Misdiagnosis of Appendicitis

A patient can easily recover from appendicitis if it is properly diagnosed and treated by the physician. The main responsibility of a medical professional is to provide appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The possibility of severe injuries or death increase when these measures are not taken. According to Missouri medical malpractice lawyers, appendicitis is among the top three frequently misdiagnosed conditions. Misdiagnosed appendicitis is gradually becoming more and more prevalent. Around thirty percent of people suffering from acute appendicitis have had their condition misdiagnosed by a physician. The rate of misdiagnosis among infants and children is the highest. Appendicitis may not be diagnosed due to the following reasons:

  • improper physical examination
  • lack of suitable tests, such as a CT scan or laboratory tests
  • abnormal appearance of symptoms
  • condition is misdiagnosed as a less severe condition
  • lack of appropriate questions to determine the symptoms
  • lack of proper interpretation of imaging results
  • insufficient follow-up
  • use of analgesia for symptoms that were not diagnosed

Issues Arising From Lack of Diagnosis and a Ruptured Appendix

Misdiagnosis increases the possibility of a ruptured appendix. When the appendix is infected, it can rupture within twenty-four hours after the first symptoms appear. A ruptured appendix can result in the leaking of infection-causing organisms into the abdominal cavity. Peritonitis will still occur even if the ruptured appendix is treated right away. This infection can result in sepsis, which is a type of blood poisoning. This condition may lead to death.

Numerous complications may result from peritonitis, which makes it necessary to remove some portion of the digestive tract. This requires the patient to be hospitalized, undergo surgery, and take strong antibiotics. The patient will also have to deal with expenses resulting from the missed diagnosis of the condition and failure to discover the ruptured appendix.

Dealing With An Appendix Injury

If you are suffering from complications from a misdiagnosis of appendicitis, you may wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional responsible. Consult a competent St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer to understand your legal options.

Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, LLC

(314) 588-7200

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Murphy today.

Schedule your free consultation