Acute appendicitis is inflammation of caecum. It can happen at any age, but is more common in second and third decade of life. The most common inducing factor of acute appendicitis is obstruction of caecum lumen. With the blockage of caecum infection swelling happens, too. Ischemia and necrosis of the wall of caecum follow soon, and this situation is even more suitable for further bacteria growth. Inflammation additionally complicates with the rupture of appendix and with that breach, inflammation starts to spread and peritonitis might happen. Appendicitis can go the other way, the signs and symptoms can subdue on their own.
As for symptoms, the main are abdominal pain followed by nausea and vomiting urge. Body temperature is increased, and headache can occur too. There is also a difference between axillar and rectal temperature. Tongue of the patient is covered with white layer and number of leucocytes grows. If acute appendicitis is not diagnosed in time and operated, complications emerge and one of those is ruptured appendix. This can end even tragically if the reaction is not timely. Rupture happens usually about 12 hours after the first signs of condition. The pain that was present stops but that is only temporary, because the inflammation spreads and the pressure in appendix decreases. Peritoneal cavity gets infected and peritonitis arrives, high temperature comes next, along with the intoxication.
Treatment requires surgery, which includes the elimination of the appendix. Surgery for ruptured appendix is performed with high precautions in order to avoid further spread of infectious pus into peritoneal cavity. During the procedure, high doses of antibiotics are used, while the patient is in total anesthesia. If the surgeons are not sure if appendicitis is properly diagnosed, it is better to remove appendix, because rupture is a very serious condition. After the surgery, patient should be able to leave the hospital after only couple of days.
General problem with acute appendicitis is that it is not easily diagnosed and therefore, ruptures happen quite often. Furthermore, appendicitis signs might easily point to some other condition, which only shortens the time for fast reaction. Condition that has similar symptoms is gastroenteritis, which is characterized by abdominal pain that comes after nausea and vomiting, while in acute appendicitis pain is always first. The most important thing, when it comes to ruptured appendix, is for a doctor to diagnose it and to send a patient immediately to surgery. Time is of essence here, because it can be a difference between life and death.