What is Acute Appendicitis?
The appendix is a blind-ended outgrowth tube about 1-9 cm long, which projects from the caecum, that is, the first part of the large intestine. It is located close to the ileocaecal junction. An obstruction of the lumen of the appendix by fecal matter leads to an inflammation of this organ, accumulation of fluids, distention and pain. Venous engorgement takes place and bacteria multiply. If no treatment is commenced, the appendix gets infected, an abscess will develop or it will rupture leading to contamination of the peritoneum.
Clinical Features of Acute Appendicitis
1. Fever with chills.
2. Pain abdomen that often begins around the umbilicus then finally settles in the right lower quarter of the abdomen. There is an accompanying urge to defecate and pass flatus, neither of which relieves the distress. As inflammation spreads, the pain becomes steady and localised. It is aggravated by movement, coughing and sneezing.
3. Nausea and vomiting.
Management of Acute Appendicitis
Being an emergency, the patient must be evacuated to a hospital for immediate surgery.