More Pediatricians in Area May Mean Fewer Ruptured Appendixes in Children

John Hopkins study reveals startling results as to what contributes to ruptured appendixes

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Fewer pediatricians in a given area may make children more susceptible to ruptures of the appendix, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Despite the number of hospitals, imaging technology centers and surgeons in the area -- or the amount of insurance of coverage -- only in places with less pediatricians were kids more likely to suffer from this life-threatening condition, caused by appendicitis, an inflamed appendix.

The study shows that the most potent predictor of outcome in children with appendicitis was the number of pediatricians available in an area, said lead investigator Fizan Abdullah, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric surgeon at Hopkins Children’s Center. He added the point of first contact in the care of a sick child highlights the pivotal role pediatricians play.

The study determined that for every 100 children with appendicitis, 12 more children would suffer ruptured appendixes in areas with the fewest pediatricians, compared to areas with more pediatricians. Researchers followed some 241,301 children with appendicitis in the study. A total of 77,097 ended up with ruptured appendixes.

The most obvious symptom of appendicitis is an aching pain that begins around the navel and often shifts to the lower-right abdomen.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 30, 2010
Last Updated:
December 31, 2010