Children are fragile and constantly need assistance to ensure that they are away from harm or danger. But what if the danger resides in their own body? Appendicitis may be a common term and condition when it comes to adults, but the danger increases by ten folds in children who are naive and cannot rightly describe the point of pain in their body. In such cases, the danger related to the rupture of the appendix in children is extremely high, and parents need to act wisely and quickly to make sure that their child is out of danger. So, let’s learn more about appendicitis in children.
Appendicitis – Basic Knowledge Every Parent should Know
Appendicitis is the painful inflammation of the appendix caused mainly due to an infection. Termed as an medical emergency that can also be fatal, the appendix can rupture and spread the infection to the other vital organs if not timely treated. The appendix is small finger shaped thin organ joined with the large intestine. It is located in the lower right part of the abdomen. However, the role of this small organ is not known in our body and it can be surgically removed if recommended by your doctor for your child. Appendectomy is one of the most common emergency surgeries performed on children and causes no side-effects in the children after recovery.
Causes of Appendicitis
Appendicitis is caused due to a blockage in the appendix which is commonly caused due to an infection. The blockage is most widely caused by the mucus, our mouth or nose fluid. In some cases, the blockage can also be caused due to parasites or stool. In rare conditions, the blockage is caused by the twisting of the appendix, caused naturally. Hence, when the blood flow to the appendix decreases, the appendix starts dying, leading to a rupture due to the holes that develop on its wall. These holes give way to mucus, stool or other substances to enter the abdomen causing a serious infection, known as peritonitis. If not treated at the right time, appendicitis can become a life threatening condition for your child. Hence, it is always wise to be aware about appendicitis and know the symptoms. Also, remember to check if your health insurance policy covers all surgeries, included appendicitis.
Risk Factors in Children
In most cases of children, appendicitis occurs after the age of 10, while it may happen anytime until age 30. Children suffering from cystic fibrosis are at a greater risk of appendicitis. Also, if your family has a history of appendicitis, the risk may always be higher for your child to suffer from it.
Common Appendicitis Symptoms
– Pain in the abdomen, that may start radiating from the belly button to your lower right hand side.
– The pain increases with the passing time
– If the appendix bursts, it can be felt all across the belly
– Nausea and vomiting
– Loss of appetite
– Fever and chills
– Troubled bowel movement or constipation
– Swollen abdomen in younger children
Pain in the abdomen can be caused due to several reasons, including indigestion, gas or a stomach infection. Thus, for any parent it gets extremely important to check the symptoms and visit your family doctor for the diagnosis. The diagnosis tests include:
Primary test include:
– Abdominal Ultrasound
– CT Scan
– Urine Test
– Blood Test
The treatment for appendicitis mainly depends on the symptoms, your child’s age and his/her general health. If the appendicitis bursts, it can cause a deadly infection to all the other vital organs. This takes a couple of hours, hence appendicitis pain should never be taken lightly. Rush to your medical service provider, who will suggest an emergency surgery to remove the appendicitis.
There are two ways through which the appendix can be removed
– Traditional surgery
In this process, your child will be given a general anaesthesia and a small incision will be made to the lower right side of the belly. Once the surgeon finds the appendix, he will remove it. In case the appendix has already burst, then a tube or a small shunt will be inserted to drain out the infected fluids from the abdomen along with the pus. After a few days when the infection has been cured, the shunt is removed.
– Laproscopic surgery
After your child is given anesthesia, the surgeon makes a small incision and using a camera he looks inside the abdomen to check the appendix. The remaining procedure remains similar to the same mentioned above.
Conclusion: Now that you know all the basics of appendicitis, check your child properly when he/ she complains about a pain in the abdomen and then take the needed medical help.