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Start > Resource centre > Articles > Is it his appendix, doctor? Part 1

Over the last 50 or 60 years nearly every parent of a child with a pain in his tummy has considered the possibility of it being appendicitis.

It is still a common complaint, but undoubtedly a fair number of appendices have been carried away from the operating table without them showing any real sign of disease.

The diagnosis of appendicitis is not always easy in an adult, and in a child it can be a very difficult one to make.

There are three main symptoms. Often trouble seems to start in the night. The affliction can occur at any age, but is much more common in older children where fatalities are much rarer, although any child runs a risk four times greater during an attack than a grown-up does.

The youngster begins with pain most often in the middle of the stomach and not where almost everybody knows the appendix lies, that is to say in the right-hand lower quarter.

The pain tends to go on endlessly, but with short spells where it seems to get worse and then ease off slightly.

Teacher: Michael
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.


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