Update:appendicitis in 6 Year Old???

Updated on May 18, 2012
S.S. asks from Goodrich, MI
16 answers

Hi ladies! My 6 year old started complaining about severe stomach pain in the middle of her belly two nights ago. She didn't eat dinner and was really tired. She fell asleep so I figured it was just a virus. She woke up at 5:30 that next morning (yesterday) in terrible pain and with a fever. She didn't want to walk, couldn't stand up straight well. We went to the ER and she had a temp of 101, pain that went down to her right side and the doctor immediately started talking about appendicitis. He had her sent out for an ultasound but said that it's hard to see the appendix of a small child on the ultrasound, so it is just to rule out other issues. The doctor was convinced it was appendicitis and was talking about calling a surgeon in for a consult. No other issues with organs, bowels or anything. I was hoping it might just be constipation or something, but no. But now this is almost noon and she is talking and starting to act normal. Still sore on the right side, but only to the touch (if we push on it). He said he could either admit her into observation or I could take her home and watch her. We went home and I have been keeping an eye on her now for 24 hours. She seems to be doing ok, eating some, but not a ton. She is playing but gets tired fast. But more worrisome is that if I press above her appendix it is still tender to the touch. She is not complaining about any other pain except if I touch it. Has anyone heard of this or know anyone who has had this happen? I can't believe she went from that to this, and now I hear stories about the pain happening again quickly. Help!

Sorry, I am new and am not sure how to add to the post. A couple of things I want to add. I have had her jump, and she can! She doesn't say it hurts so that's why I was wondering if it could still be appendicitis. Secondly, they did the ultrasound and not anything else because they said they did not want to radiation. She is not currently in pain, fever or anything, it is only when I press on her appendix that she says anything at all! I was told that is it ruptured it may feel some relief, but there would still be pain in her belly. Of course she is 6 and scared to go back so we have a had a little bit of trouble having her tell the whole truth about the pain. So I know if I take her back in she will say it doesn't hurt that bad, and since she can jump I don't know what they would do.

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answers from Saginaw on

have them test her for strep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It sometimes presents in the lymph nodes of the stomach rather than the throat. My son had the same situation and the ER doctor was smart enough to realize that his white blood cell count was not high enough for it to be appendicitis, and it was strep



answers from Phoenix on

That type of pain is not normal. It is a sign of a bigger issue. She may be feeling okay now, but the pain is probably going to come back & be worse next time. Get her back to a specialist for testing. I'd rather be safe than sorry, and wait too long.

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answers from Norfolk on

Acute appendicitis is quick and sudden.
Chronic appendicitis can come and go and come and go over a long period.
I wouldn't want to risk peritonitis if it ruptures (rupture causes fecal matter to spill out into the abdominal cavity) and that is what can be life threatening.
Personally I'd have it taken out and be done with it.
Do it now and it'll be over with and healed up before summer starts.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Don't wait for something to happen. If it ruptures you'll have real troubles to deal with...particularly something called peritonitis and sepsis which can be debilitating or even deadly. See:


Take the doctor up on his offer to keep her for observation. If the appendix is swollen, it's probably going to eventuallyr rupture. As far as I know, there is no way to reverse this condition except to have it removed.

I can't believe he sent her home.

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answers from Cleveland on

i would of stayed and had them watched her. Id personally take her to the drs in the morning and have them check her out.

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answers from San Antonio on

Did they just do an ultrasound? Did they do an abdominal x-ray? (That is what showed my son's impacted bowel, causing abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever).

I would be concerned...it sure does sound like a typical appendicitis. Did they do the "jump test"? To see if she could jump up and down or would even try to jump up and down. If they can't or the collapse in pain that is a good sign it is an appendicitis.

At what point are you suppose to go back to the ER? Have to taken her to her pediatrician? (what does he/she say?)

If the pain suddenly stops now THAT is bad because it can mean the appendix finally burst and flooded the abdomen with bacteria then causes sepsis and possibly serious complications including death.

I would still be concerned...I would want a second opinion. What did her blood work show? High white blood cells or other sign of infection??

I think a second opinion is needed...

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answers from La Crosse on

I have not dealt with it personally... but my uncle was in severe pain, doubled over and all. My aunt is a nurse and said it was his appendix and they were on their way to the ER. On the way there he told her to turn around that he was starting to feel better and it wasn't the horrible pain just an ache. She drove faster to the ER because she said it had just burst... sure enough after an ultrasound she was right. He went in for surgery to clean the toxins out of his body.

I would call the Dr and talk to them about it before assuming she is just feeling better. Better to be safe than sorry.

I hope she does feel better and it is just a virus!

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answers from Washington DC on

The doctor was "talking about" having a surgeon in for a consult? And did that happen or not? I'm assuming not since you don't mention it again.

I'm very surprised they were willing to send her home. I would take her to the ER now and say you want an MRI and a surgical consultation. Now. l question why they did not keep her in the hospital for observation.

Do not go just by the "jump test" or lack of a fever. My daughter did not have a fever with her appendicitis. And the jump test may help but every person is different and it may not be as effective with her. You say, yourself, that she may be masking her pain out of fear.

My daughter had appendicitis that also did not turn up on an ultrasound, but they then took her immediately for an MRI as well. It still did not "show" as a swollen appendix but they consulted right away with the surgeon and he said he would see her the next morning and they kept her in overnight. She had surgery the next day based on the surgeon's recommendation and she did indeed have appendicitis.

You do not have to have constant, screaming pain for it to be appendicitis, nor do you have to be vomiting a lot.

They also said that "if it ruptured, she would feel some relief"? But did they tell you that if it ruptures, she must be rushed immediately to the hospital because a ruptured appendix spreads the infection quickly?

I'm not sure what the doctors really want you to be doing at home observing her other than see if she gets worse, since it sounds like she is not truly getting better. I would call and say you want to see the surgeon right now and get a decison made. The surgeon may be the one to make the call. I"m not trying to be scary here, I'm just wondering what their protocol is and why they are just saying what sounds like "wait to see if it ruptures"--?

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answers from Redding on

One of my clients just had to race her son to the ER this morning. She took him due to his relentless vomitting and discomfort. He is a special needs teenager and although he is extremely communicative, he is also a teenager and she couldn't get him to say what pain level he had or exactly where the pain was located other than his right side hurt. He was admitted due to dehydration and they suspected appendicitis, but after a battery of tests, they discovered that he has a large kidney stone and has likely had it for some time.
Kidney stones are excruciatingly painful and she said that his vomitting could have been a response to that pain that he wasn't able to express otherwise. Not to mention the fact this his body is trying to get rid of the kidney stone. She called after a full day at the hospital just as we were closing the office to let us know that he was being seen by a urology specialist.

I had an appendix that they caught just before it ruptured.
My advice is to quit poking on her tummy.
Check for fever. Mine was over 103 for four days when they admitted me to the hospital after being on antibiotics for 4 days and I couldn't even walk. They knew I had infection of some kind, but until I was admitted and had ultrasounds, etc, they didn't know what was going on.

This is just MY experience and opinion, but if it's appendicitis, or a kidney stone, etc, whether or not she can communicate to you or you believe she's afraid to, it will get to a point that her body communicates for her and there will be no question that she needs further evaluation.

Keep her settled down, keep her hydrated, check her temp, quit poking her.
If any of her symptoms return or escalate, get her back in right away.

Just my opinion and best wishes.

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answers from Dallas on

my daughter had it at 4 days past her 6th birthday. She had a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Her stomach pain was all over, not localized, and hers ruptured. She recovered pretty quickly once she had the surgery.

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answers from Chicago on

I had appendicitis earlier this year and had all the same symptoms of your daughters, including vomiting. I went to my doctor, who admitted me immediately after feeling my abdomen. They did an X-ray and my appendix was HUGE - even though by this time I was starting to feel better. Luckily it hadn't burst, as that is deadly.

Bring her back to the ER or doctor and tell them she is still feeling pain and that you changed your mind and you want them to monitor her and do an x-ray to confirm appendicitis. Seems strange they would do an ultrasound only when they said themselves that would not confirm their suspicions, but then not do the x-ray which would tell them for sure.

You are taking a big risk here and it's time to go back to the doctor. Your daughter is in a lot of pain and if it bursts her body will be filled with poisons.

From WebMD so you have some information to make sure the hospital is doing all they can to correctly diagnose.

How Is Appendicitis Diagnosed?

Diagnosing appendicitis can be tricky. Symptoms of appendicitis are frequently vague or extremely similar to other ailments, including gallbladder problems, bladder or urinary tract infection, Crohn's disease, gastritis, intestinal infection, and ovary problems.

The following tests are usually used to make the diagnosis.
Abdominal exam to detect inflammation
Urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection
Rectal exam
Blood test to see if your body is fighting infection
CT scans and/or ultrasound

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answers from Seattle on

It hurts when you press or when you RELEASE (rebound pain)?

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answers from New York on

Can she hop on her right foot. That is usually the tried and true test of
appendicitis. If it gets bad again, go back to ER or your pediatrician.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Personally i would have had her hospitalized for observation, they know what to look for, and it can happen the way you're describing it. The jump test is helpful, i would be concerned she can't, whether she admits to pain or not, you know she is hurting. Appendicitis is something you don't want to mess around with, if it ruptures she'll have serious problems that will require a more intensive treatment and longer hospital stay. At her age she would heal quickly from surgery, being that she is young and otherwise healthy. Praying for her!



answers from Detroit on

Similar thing happened to my 4 yr old just a few weeks ago. Severe abdominal pain, was crying cause she couldn't walk. Went to doctor and she wouldn't jump. They did a CBC and her white blood count was really high. Since she wouldn't jump and was still in pain he sent us to the ER in fear of appendicitis. After a couple hours she finally jumped for the doctor but was still complaining of pain. They did an ultrasound and x-ray and it showed that her bowels were backed up. They gave her a suppository and after a few days of laxatives she was back to normal. We go for a re-check xray next week. I swear she didn't go more than 24hrs without a BM, she is very regular. So who knows what happened. All I know is that she was in a lot of pain!

My aunt is a nurse and when we were going through everything she was not satisfied with the jumping. She said that just because she can jump does not mean it's not appendicitis. In our case she was fine though (and still is). Use your mommy judgment and listen to the doctors, hopefully everything will be just fine!!



answers from Detroit on

My brother had an odd case of appendicitis. When he was about 10 we were on a long trip and had awful pain there, my father is a physician - but was not on the trip with us, so had to do all the consultation over the phone with my mom pressing on the abdomen etc... Nothing seemed to positively diagnose appendicitis so they just watched him, however after a few days of dragging around he seemed to get better (he had a history of complaining of being sick and then suddenly would jump up and play and be all better, so my parents were always skeptical of if he really was sick or not) and we thought is was just more of his dramatics.

Fast forward 4 years later and he's again complaining of pain there, this time more severe and persistent. My dad is there this time and insists they go to the small local hospital where he works to consult a surgeon. The surgeon is very arrogant that this could not possibly be appendicitis, but to appease my dad he agrees to go in with a scope. Once he did suddenly a bunch of puss starts spewing out. Evidently the appendix had ruptured, but somehow was encased so that it didn't show up. Going in with the scope ruptured that little pouch that it was enclosed in and then they could see the problem.

Go with your gut on this one Mama! If you think there is still a problem, insist that they scope her, its not major surgery and would not be radiation, but would let them "explore" the area better. Most doctors would rather err on the side of prevention than not. If they blow you off, get a second opinion!

Hope its just a stomach ache in the end. :)

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