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People who died from Appendicitis

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Please add ONLY those who have Died from Appendicitis or a ruptured Appendix to this project.

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis commonly presents with right lower abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite However, approximately 40% of persons do not have these typical signs and symptoms. Severe complications of a ruptured appendix include widespread, painful inflammation of the inner lining of the abdominal wall and sepsis.
Appendicitis is caused by a blockage of the hollow portion of the appendix, most commonly by a calcified "stone" made of feces. However, inflamed lymphoid tissue from a viral infection, parasites, gallstone, or tumors may also cause the blockage. This blockage leads to increased pressures within the appendix, decreased blood flow to the tissues of the appendix, and bacterial growth inside the appendix causing inflammation. The combination of inflammation, reduced blood flow to the appendix and distention of the appendix causes tissue injury and tissue death. If this process is left untreated, the appendix may burst, releasing bacteria into the abdominal cavity, leading to severe abdominal pain and increased complications.

The diagnosis of appendicitis is largely based on the person's signs and symptoms. In cases where the diagnosis cannot be made based on the person's history and physical exam, close observation, radiographic imaging and laboratory tests can often be helpful. The two most common imaging tests used are ultrasound and computed tomography (CT scan). CT scan has been shown to be more accurate than ultrasound in detecting acute appendicitis. However, ultrasound may be preferred as the first imaging test in children and pregnant women because of the risks associated with radiation exposure from CT scans.

The standard treatment for acute appendicitis is surgical removal of the appendix. This may be done by an open incision in the abdomen (laparotomy) or through a few smaller incisions with the help of cameras (laparoscopy). Surgery decreases the risk of side effects or death associated with rupture of the appendix. Antibiotics may be equally effective in certain cases of non-ruptured appendicitis. It is one of the most common and significant causes of severe abdominal pain that comes on quickly worldwide. In 2013 about 16 million cases of appendicitis occurred. This resulted in 72,000 deaths globally. In the United States, appendicitis is the most common cause of acute abdominal pain requiring surgery. Each year in the United States, more than 300,000 persons with appendicitis have their appendix surgically removed. Reginald Fitz is credited with being the first person to describe the condition in a paper published in 1886


Unlike the old days, people rarely die from cases of acute appendicitis which are diagnosed early. The risk of death is increased in those cases which are undiagnosed or the diagnosis is delayed. In those situations the cause of death is usually the severe infection, which leads to organ failure (septic shock). Even in those situations, the death rate for appendicitis is about 1/10 of 1% (ie. very very low).


Since its debut in the annals of medical literature, the appendix has always held some mystery. In the 1500s, anatomists were able to identify its structure within the body, but could only guess at its purpose. However, doctors did recognize that it could become inflamed and cause serious disease.

In 1735, Dr. Claudius Amyand performed the world’s first successful appendectomy, at St. George’s Hospital in London. The patient was an 11-year old boy whose appendix had become perforated by a pin he had swallowed. The first successful operation to treat acute appendicitis was performed soon after, in 1759 in Bordeaux.  General anesthesia was not available until 1846, so these operations required many assistants to restrain patients during what were undoubtedly very painful procedures.

Surgical treatment for appendicitis began in earnest during the 1880s. Although doctors struggled to decide who should undergo the knife – some patients would recover on their own without surgery – surgical technique and anesthesia had improved outcomes to such an extent that surgery would rapidly became the gold standard approach. By the end of the 20th century, laparoscopic surgery replaced open surgery in most cases, and laparoscopic appendectomy is now considered one of the safest, lowest-complication surgical procedures performed today.

Notable People who DIED from Appendicitis or ruptured Appendix:

  1. Celebrity Diagnosis
  2. Wikipedia - Deaths from Appendicitis (62 listed as of 12/13/18)

Source & Additional reading:

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