General Info about Appendicitis
The vermifom appendix or appendix in short, is a small part of the bowel or intestine. It is situated on the right side of the abdomen at the junction of the small and large intestines . It is a small narrow sac approximately 10 cm long and 1 cm wide. The appendix is a vestigial organ, that is, it serves no useful purpose.
What happens in Appendicitis?
Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed. Appendicitis usually occurs as a result of faecal material and other debris getting stuck inside the appendix. Sometimes, worms can also cause a blockage of the narrow sac leading to appendicitis.
The danger with appendicitis is that the blocked appendix can burst leading to peritonitis. Peritonitis is infection of the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Who is at risk in Appendicitis
Appendicitis is the most common cause for a child to need emergency abdominal surgery.
A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of getting a disease such as Appendicitis.
Age: Appendicitis can occur in all age groups but it is more common between the ages of 11 and 20.
Gender: A male preponderance exists, with a male to female ratio ( 1.4: 1 ) and the overall lifetime risk is 8.6% for males and 6.7% for females. A male child suffering from cystic fibrosis is at a higher risk for developing appendicitis.
Diet: People whose diet is low in fiber and rich in refined carbohydrates have an increased risk of getting appendicitis.
Hereditary: A particular position of the appendix, which predisposes it to infection, runs in certain families. Having a family history of appendicitis may increase a child's risk for the illness.
Seasonal variation: Most cases of appendicitis occur in the winter months - between the months of October and May.
Infections: Gastrointestinal infections such as Amebiasis, Bacterial Gastroenteritis, Mumps, Coxsackievirus B and Adenovirus can predispose an individual to Appendicitis.