Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch that projects from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen. If not treated, a ruptured appendix can be fatal.
A healthcare provider will perform a physical exam to check for tenderness. Other signs and symptoms may include vomiting and abdominal swelling. Tests such as ultrasound or CT scan might produce images of the inflamed appendix.
Blood tests can also be done to check for an infection. The white blood cell count might be higher than normal in a person with appendicitis.
The primary nursing diagnosis for appendicitis is acute pain related to inflammation. The nursing care plan should be aimed at relieving the pain and preventing complications from peritonitis or a ruptured appendix.
The outcomes for appendicitis are alleviation of the pain, avoiding complications of the condition, and supporting a positive self-concept.
Interventions should include pain relief, monitoring hydration status and urine output, providing adequate nutrition, promoting rest, encouraging active and passive range of motion, preparing for surgery and post-operative care.
The rationale for pain relief is to reduce the discomfort associated with the condition. Hydration status and urine output must be monitored to prevent dehydration and help signs of infection. Adequate nutrition and rest is important for recovery. Range of motion is important to maintain muscle strength. Surgery may be necessary to remove the inflamed appendix. After surgery, instructions must be given for post-operative care.
Evaluations after implementing an appropriate nursing care plan should include decreased pain, improved vital signs, improved range of motion, appropriate wound healing and maintenance of muscle strength.
Appendicitis is a potentially life threatening condition which requires prompt medical attention. It is important to have an understanding of the assessment, nursing diagnosis, outcomes, interventions, rationales and evaluations in order to deliver effective nursing care.
- What is the best treatment for appendicitis?
The best treatment for appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix. Antibiotic medicines are also used to treat any possible infection.
- What are the risks of not treating appendicitis?
If appendicitis is not treated, it can lead to a ruptured appendix, which can be life threatening.
- Can appendicitis cause long-term health problems?
Appendicitis itself doesn’t usually cause any long-term health problems, but if there is a rupture, then it can lead to further illness and complications.
- What are the signs and symptoms of appendicitis?
The most common symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, loss of appetite and Constipation.
- How long does it take to recover from appendicitis?
Recovery from appendicitis usually takes about a week and a half, depending on the course of treatment. It may take longer if the appendix has ruptured.