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Patient Safety in Delayed Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis

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DOI: 10.4236/ss.2011.26067    5,744 Downloads   10,181 Views Citations


Introduction: Acute appendicitis is the major surgical abdominal disease in emergency departments and is also among the five leading causes of litigation against emergency physicians. Delayed diagnosis of appendicitis is more likely to occur in patients, who present atypically, and those lack a thorough physical examination, or those received intramuscular narcotic analgesia. The aim of this study was to study the effect of delay in diagnosis of acute appendicitis as regard postoperative findings, length of hospital stay and post-operative complications. Patients & Methods: Patients with complicated appendicitis were subjected to the present study and treated by a single surgical team. The parameters of our study were incidence of perforation or gangrene at surgery, length of stay and post-operative complications. Results: The present study showed that delay in diagnosis of acute appendicitis is associated with a more advanced stage of disease and a higher morbidity. Conclusion: careful attention to the patient’s history; a thorough physical examination and early clinical review help to minimize the possibility of delayed diagnosis of appendicitis. Appendicitis with a delay in treatment usually leads to high perforation rates, and unfavorable outcome.

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A. Saber, M. Gad and G. Ellabban, "Patient Safety in Delayed Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis," Surgical Science, Vol. 2 No. 6, 2011, pp. 318-321. doi: 10.4236/ss.2011.26067.

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