Compensation for Misdiagnosed Appendicitis
The NHS reports that around 40,000 people each year are admitted to hospital with appendicitis in England alone. It is important that the appendix is removed swiftly in these cases in order to minimise additional risks and complications to the patient’s health.
Unfortunately, the symptoms that are presented with appendicitis are similar to several other abdominal disorders, and as such, doctors can misdiagnose or delay their diagnosis which can have implications for the patient.
In cases of misdiagnosis, the medical staff may be considered to have been negligent. If you have been affected by an appendicitis misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. The eligibility to claim and the amount of compensation that will be awarded to you will depend upon the severity of the damage caused, such as whether the appendix burst and whether there was a significant threat to life.
If you believe that you received a substandard level of care or suffered from medical negligence, you are encouraged to begin your compensation claim as soon as possible to ensure that time limits are met, and evidence to support your claim is more readily available.
Causes of Appendicitis
Medical negligence, particularly in cases of grumbling or chronic appendicitis, can have severe and long-lasting consequences. Appendicitis begins when the appendix becomes blocked, often by a foreign object such as faeces or a mass such as a tumour. Such a blockage causes a buildup of bacteria in the appendix which leads to it filling with pus and swelling. If the appendix is not treated, usually through removal, it can burst, and this can be very dangerous for the patient.
If you are assessed by a medical professional and they fail to recognise the signs of appendicitis, you may have a valid claim for compensation as a victim of medical negligence.
Symptoms of Appendicitis
There are a number of recognisable symptoms of appendicitis, including:
- Severe pain in the middle or the lower right-hand side of the abdomen. The pain increases when the area is pressed or when the patient moves or coughs.
- Loss of appetite
- Abnormal bowel movements including constipation or diarrhoea
- Temperature above 38°C
- Feeling of nausea
If these symptoms are not recognised as being connected to appendicitis, your suffering will last longer and this could lead to fatal consequences.
Misdiagnosis of Appendicitis
Doctors who are presented with the above symptoms can be expected to acknowledge a risk of appendicitis and should take appropriate investigative steps to diagnose the condition promptly. Unfortunately, as the above symptoms can also be linked to a number of other abdominal conditions, diagnosis may be delayed or even confused with another illness, and this increases the risk to you.
In order to avoid misdiagnosis, the medical practitioner should carry out a thorough assessment of you as well as reviewing your medical history. Concerns can be confirmed through tests including blood and urine samples and imaging.
A doctor who fails to perform a thorough assessment, does not carry out necessary tests or takes too long to complete their examinations and reach a diagnosis may be liable for a claim of medical negligence if their errors or delays caused you additional suffering.
How much compensation will I be awarded?
The amount of compensation that is awarded to you following an appendicitis misdiagnosis will greatly depend upon the severity of the suffering inflicted on you. If you have suffered from elongated periods of pain, lasting weakness or damage or if your appendix burst due to medical failures, you are likely to secure the highest awards.
To find out if you have a valid claim for medical negligence compensation, contact our team of personal injury solicitors today for a free case assessment. We provide a no win no fee service, so if we are unable to win your claim, you won’t pay us a penny.