A perforated appendix can become a dangerous health condition with the high risk of death when immediate treatment is not given. The large intestine has a thin tube or appendage located on the lower side of the abdomen called the appendix, which function of the body remains to baffle doctors and medical scientists on its accurate role in the body’s anatomic and physiologic activities. When the appendix becomes inflamed, a condition called appendicitis occurs which is a medical condition that requires first aid management and proper treatment.
When does a perforated appendix become a medical emergency?
When the appendix gets inflamed, the symptoms produced may be mild or severe depending upon the extent of the inflamed tissues involved. Faeces and foods are often displaced and are lodged along the narrow tube of the appendix. When this happens, it blocks the narrow tube area of the appendix, harbouring bacterial growth and the buildup of infection. The infection and the blockage cause the infection to spread across the appendix area, resulting in swelling and inflammation. When the inflamed tissues spread to the abdominal cavity, it can produce significant pain and symptoms.
To a certain extent, the build up of the bacteria will cause severe swelling and inflammation, causing the formation of pus. When the pus bursts in the appendix because of its uncontrolled build up, this becomes an emergency situation. The infection can easily spread across the abdominal cavity that can result in a condition called peritonitis that causes the thinning of the cavity of the abdomen. This accelerates the spread of the infection which can flood the cavity with infected matters.
The bursting of the pus or the presence of a perforated appendix becomes a life threatening situation as it can occur within 36 hours from the onset of a severe infection to the appendix. It can dramatically spread the infected matters into the body that can become poisonous matters that could lead to death.
Getting help for a perforated appendix
A perforated appendix usually manifests the symptoms of a dull pain located around the navel. It can increasingly progress as a sharp pain that is felt on the lower right side of the abdomen. When someone manifests this symptom, ask the person to lie down and bend the knees to move towards the chest. An increasing pain on the lower side of the abdomen indicates there is an inflamed appendix that is compressed with the movement. Take the person to a hospital immediately in order to get the proper diagnosis and prompt medical treatment. The person with a perforated appendix may also vomit. Give the person glass of water to hydrate the body. In order to relieve the person from pain, a pain medication may be given.
Medicine Net. Appendicitis. Retrieved on July 2, 2014 from http://www.medicinenet.com/appendicitis/page4.htm