Your 12 year-old daughter is curled up on the bed complaining of stomach pains. You think it may just be a bad case of gas and to monitor her overnight. So you grab some ginger ale and gas relief tablets from the pharmacy and hope for the best. Eight hours and four Pepto tablets later, she is still moaning in pain. Something is telling you it may be more than an upset stomach. Could it be appendicitis?

Appendicitis can strike at any age, but is most common between the ages of 8 and 20. If left untreated, your child’s appendix can burst, causing toxic materials to infect the abdomen.

One 36-year old woman was admitted into the ER for an ectopic pregnancy. After emergency surgery was performed to remove the damaged tube, the surgeon informed the woman that her fallopian tubes were warped and that it would be highly unlikely for her to conceive by natural means. The culprit? The doctor said there was a high possibility her tubes were infected and scarred by appendicitis twenty years earlier. The woman recalled the memory of a delayed diagnosis after two lengthy days of excruciating abdominal pain.

Because a ruptured appendix can lead to complications such as tubal infertility, sepsis- or even death –  it’s always best to seek emergency care if you are unsure. Here are the signs to look out for:

Most Common Symptoms of Appendicitis:

  • Abdominal pain around the belly button that turns into sharper pain in the lower right abdomen
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever

Other Symptoms Reported:

  • Pain in the back
  • Cramps
  • Pain while urinating
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Even if you have to see a doctor in the wee hours of the morning and head over to Hospitality ER, it’s worth it to have your child examined when there is a possibility of appendicitis. By catching it at the first sign of symptoms, your doctors can perform an appendectomy before it’s too late.