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Appendicitis May Not Be a Medical Emergency Now

The Appendix is a tube like organ. It is located at the junction of small intestine and large intestine. The medical fraternity is clueless till date, about the role played by this organ in human body. It is believed to be a vestigial structure by doctors. Any organ is said so, when it loses its ability to carry out its primary functions over a period of time.

This organ is traditionally found to be prone to infections. It leads to swelling of this organ. It causes severe and acute pain in the abdominal region. This pain is notorious all over the world. Until now, doctors considered Appendicitis to be a Medical Emergency. A condition is said so when immediate medical attention is required by a patient. They removed the organ from the body immediately providing relief to the patient. Delay in medical attention might, unfortunately, lead to death.

But a latest research (dated 19th January 2010) study in this field reports that Appendicitis may not be a medical emergency any more. The study was conducted at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The duration of the study is over 36 years (1970-2006).Conclusions were drawn based on data collected from the National Hospital Discharge Survey.

Knowledge Gained from the Research Study are:

  • Appendicitis may be caused by viral infections in particular.
  • It can be a seasonal disease, with most number of cases to be expected in the summer.
  • The inflammation of the organ need not always lead to bursting.
  • Still, the doctors do not take any chance and remove the organ permanently.
  • But, according to chief researcher Dr. Edward Livingston, the possibility of immediate surgery is ruled out. However,the need for immediate medical attention in such conditions still remains.
  • Gathered data revealed that the condition was at its peak during the years 1977, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1994 and 1998.
  • From 1995 onwards there has been an unexpected rise in this condition.

Appendicitis remains as one-of-its-kind medical condition. Doctors know how to effectively cure it by simply removing the appendix. Everything else pertaining to this organ remains a mystery. An estimated 18,000 to 20,000 people die of this condition in the United States.

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