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Is it his appendix, doctor? Part 2 (Teacher: Michael)

Next, there is a rather sudden bout of vomiting. This usually rouses the whole household and often the family doctor. By the time he is called the sufferer may to a hot. He looks more than just in pain; he looks ill.

This is the most usual course the illness takes. The wretched appendix (which doesn't even seem to serve any useful function) although fixed to the lower bowel at one end, can pointing in any direction of the compass. And this fact can change the symptoms considerably.

If it is pointing upwards it can to a suspicion of pneumonia. If pointing outwards, that is towards the loin, it can cause fears that the pain may due to a kidney. If it points directly downwards diarrhoea may an early symptom and an infection of the bowel has to considered.

These facts diagnosis difficult for the doctor in a minority of cases, but for parents any abdominal pain in a child is a worry. What has before is often important - what the doctor calls the history of the case. Has the child to a party and too much ice-cream or too many sour apples? Has he had a sore throat the day before and a virus infection? If the pain is slight does he refuse any offer of food?

An American surgeon, when in doubt, used to ask the child if he would like a hot, roast pork sandwich. If he 'yes', the surgeon would wait before operating. It needs a healthy child with a good. appetite for this test to work.

Remember that in an acute appendicitis the pain does not gradually better. If during an attack the child starts to want to play or asks for food, the diagnosis is almost certainly not that of an acute appendix. suspicious of the youngster whose pains on consecutive Monday mornings just before school!

If in doubt, if the pain persists or worsens, or if the patient begins to look or hot, don't delay. Remember that an operation in good time is remarkably safe and the youngster is quickly full of beans again.

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