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Appendix is a finger shaped pouch joined to the large intestine which is nonfunctional or not a vital organ, and hence not harmful when removed. Appendicitis is a medical emergency when one’s appendix is infected and painful. Kids between the ages 6 to 16 are most affected with appendicitis, which if not operated on time can be fatal, and hence it is important to understand the symptoms and act on time.

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Symptoms of Appendicitis in Kids

A child suffering from appendicitis starts experiencing symptoms like

• Severe pain around belly button
• Fever
• Elevated heart rate
• Loss of appetite
• Vomiting

Children with cystic fibrosis and/or a family history of appendicitis may be at a higher risk.

Diagnosis & Treatment

After observing and monitoring a child’s vital, doctors shall ask for blood test, urine test, X-ray test, Ultrasound test, CT Scan/MRI Scan. Once diagnosed it is advised to perform a minor surgery and remove the infected appendix immediately, through traditional/open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. Once operated and stable, the child shall be discharged within 1-2 days and can resume regular activities after 4-6 days.

In case there is a delay and the appendix bursts the surgery of appendix removal is delayed until the infected fluid or pus is removed. This may take around 10-14 days and surgery shall be performed 6 to 8 weeks later. A child with ruptured appendix will have to stay longer in hospital than the child whose appendix was removed on time. Remember, most children are treated and recover with no long term problems. In some worst cases this can turn out to be fatal when the infection spreads from ruptured appendix and infects the organs in abdominal cavity very quickly.

Video: Appendicitis in Kids – Symptoms, Hospitalization & Care

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