A five-month-old infant with a rare case of acute appendicitis was successfully operated on at Zulekha Hospital in Dubai.
The infant, Aydin Zefri, was admitted into the hospital and diagnosed with acute appendicitis complicated with peritonitis, by Dr. Salah Eldin Elghote, Specialist Paediatric and Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix which is a small hollow organ attached to the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. As the appendix does not seem to have a specific purpose in the body, appendicitis can cause severe pain and is most common in people between the ages of 10 and 30. Left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually burst, or perforate spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, which a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity's lining (the peritoneum) that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly.
The standard practice in this situation is to remove the appendix but in this case, Aydin also had peritonitis which is an inflation of the tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers and supports most abdominal organs and is usually formed by a bacterial infection. Peritonitis can rapidly spread into the blood and other organs, resulting in multiple organ failure and even death.
Dr. Elghote said, "Appendicitis is the most common surgical abdominal emergency in the paediatric population. It can occur at any age, but it occurs more frequently in children aged eight to 16 years. It rarely occurs in children under the age of one, however, the rate of perforation - rupture or burst appendix - is higher in younger children. It is very difficult to diagnose infants with acute appendicitis and the morbidity and mortality rate is usually very high in this age group because of the complications."