Appendicitis is no more common in childhood than in adult life. A recent national survey in Britain found that around 3 or 4 children in every 1000 suffered from appendicitis every year. The condition is seen at any age, but is more usually found over the age of 5 years. Appendicitis is an emergency at any age, but especially so in children. The appendix is a small, finger-like projection from the caecum — a part of the large intestine situated in the right lower part of the abdomen. In childhood the wall of this vestigial organ is thin, and so rupture can occur more readily. Rupture leads to peritonitis. This is a serious condition where the abdominal cavity becomes inflamed and infected due to the contents of the bowel spilling out into this body cavity. Unless the appendix is removed surgically the condition can be fatal. In fact, there were four deaths from appendicitis in Scotland as recently as the late 1970s.
KeywordsLarge Intestine Body Cavity Acute Abdominal Pain Early Movement Normal Appendix
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