Thursday, December 10, 2009
Medical Reports: Appendicitis
Appendicitis sends thousands of kids to the emergency room every year. Diagnosis the serious disease is tricky, but a new test is giving doctors the answers they need, and parents an early warning. 7s Christine Cruz has more in today's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Harrison Dale: "It was very scary. The pain was very unimaginable. It was torturous."
Harrison Dale went through several exams, X-rays and a blood test. At first doctors told him he had indigestion, but hours later a cat scan revealed something much worse, appendicitis.
Harrison Dale: "It's a little disturbing to hear that doctors can't tell constipation from appendicitis."
Almost half of appendicitis cases take so long to diagnose the appendix ruptures, which can be fatal. 30 percent of kids have their appendix removed because of a mis-diagnosis, but a new test that focuses on the presence of a specific protein could clear up the confusion.
Dr. Hanno Steen: "If this protein is present in urine, then there is a very high chance that this child has appendicitis."
Researchers use a special device to shine a light through a test tube. It will show the specific protein that signals appendicitis.
Dr. Hanno Steen: "In a couple of years, we would like to have a dipstick test which allows us to do this kind of urine analysis in the ER within minutes."
Studies show the test is accurate 97 percent of the time.
Harrison Dale: "It would save a lot of heartache and pain."
Eliminating the guesswork and an unnecessary trip to the operating room for kids.
Christine Cruz: "Right now, the test only works in children because the bio marker discovered is only present in kids."
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Children's Hospital Boston
Tel: (617) 919-3110