What are the signs of appendicitis?

It isn’t yet known exactly why humans have an appendix, but it can certainly cause problems when it becomes inflamed. The appendix is a small structure located in the lower right-hand quadrant of the abdomen. Appendicitis is most likely to affect people between the ages of 10 and 30, but it can happen at any age. It’s essential to get your child emergency care if you think he or she might have an inflamed appendix. In Las Vegas, Sunrise Children’s Hospital is open day and night to administer superior children’s emergency care.

Abdominal pain
Appendicitis causes abdominal pain that may be very severe. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear a pediatric surgeon explain that the pain might be located in the right-hand part of the abdomen. However, nearby areas may also become painful.

The pain of appendicitis tends to have a rapid onset. It may worsen if the child walks or coughs, and so you may notice your child trying to shuffle in a hunched-over position, perhaps while grasping the belly.

Gastrointestinal distress
In addition to abdominal pain, appendicitis can result in the following digestive issues:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Inability to relieve gas

Typically, children with appendicitis don’t want to eat anything. One major concern is the potential for dehydration. Let the emergency care doctor know if your child has been unable to keep fluids down.

Ruptured appendix
If appendicitis isn’t treated right away, usually with emergency surgery, then the appendix may rupture—a potentially life-threatening complication. Call 911 if you think your child might have a ruptured appendix .

A ruptured appendix can cause the same symptoms as appendicitis. It can also cause:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Weakness
  • Feeling of rectal fullness

Call 911 or take your child to the children’s emergency care team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital if you think he or she is having a serious health issue. Our highly trained team of pediatric specialists understands the unique needs of our young patients, and can help your child feel well again quickly. For general information about our children’s hospital in Las Vegas, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437.

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