Suffering a common ailment does not always mean that a medical professional will timely and properly diagnose the issue and successfully treat the patient. Unfortunately, various errors could happen in the process of coming to a diagnosis, leading to some unfortunate events for some patients. The failure to diagnose even a minor or common medical issue could cause patients in Montana and elsewhere to suffer additional medical problems or worsened conditions.

Appendicitis, which is the inflammation of the appendix, is a medical issue the strikes one in 15 Americans between the ages of 10 and 30. The appendix, a three and a half inch long tube of tissue that extends from the large intestine, arguably has no known function and is definitely something one can live without. However, when a person develops appendicitis, it can become a medical emergency.

When an individual develops appendicitis, it requires the prompt removal of the appendix. The problem is, however, that sometimes appendicitis can look like other ailments, such as gallbladder problems, urinary tract infections, Crohn’s disease, gastritis, intestinal infection and ovary problems. Therefore, certain tests are conducted to help diagnose appendicitis. This typically includes an abdominal exam, urine tests, rectal exam, blood tests and a CT scan or ultrasound.

A misdiagnosis of what is in fact appendicitis could become serious. If left untreated, the error could result in an inflamed appendix bursting, spilling infectious material into the abdominal cavity. This could result in the patient suffering peritonitis, which is a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity lining and could be fatal if it is not treated quickly with strong antibiotics.

Although appendicitis is a medical issue that many Americans deal with, it is one that could have serious and even life threatening results if it is not timely diagnosed and treated. Therefore, if a patient has suffered due to the failure to diagnose appendicitis, it is important to understand the recourses available. An injured patient could file a medical malpractice claim for damages and losses suffered.

Source:, “Appendicitis,” accessed Jan. 28, 2017