Speed bumps help diagnose appendicitis | Pakistan Today

Speed bumps help diagnose appendicitis

Whether you find driving over speed bumps painful could help doctors work out whether you are suffering from acute appendicitis or not. While the link between speed bump pain and appendicitis was already suspected — some doctors even use anecdotal reports of the discomfort in their diagnostic procedure — evidence for the idea had not been produced until now.
“It may sound odd, but asking patients whether their pain worsened going over speed bumps on their way in to hospital could help doctors in a diagnosis,” said Dr Helen Ashdown of the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. “It turns out to be as good as many other ways of assessing people with suspected appendicitis.” Appendicitis is tricky to detect accurately and misdiagnosis can lead to healthy appendices being removed in unnecessary operations or inflamed appendices going without surgery and risking blood poisoning and death.
The results of the study by medical professionals from the University of Oxford and Stoke Mandeville Hospital showed that speed bump pain compared well to other diagnostic methods when dealing with appendicitis, either in terms of considering it or — with more accuracy — in ruling it out. High sensitivity to pain over speed bumps in patients with acute appendicitis means that when the bumps don’t induce a jolt of pain doctors can rule out a problem appendix more confidently. But the pain sensitivity was also reportedly linked to abdominal problems such as a ruptured ovarian cyst and therefore doesn’t make for a great “rule-in” test. The study concludes that questioning patients about their sensitivity to speed bumps should form part of the routine assessment for patients with suspected appendicitis.

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