Uninsured Children Exposed To Appendicitis Complications
Statistics show that in case of the 70 000 uninsured children in the U. affected by appendicitis every year the situation can aggravate because of the delay of diagnosis and surgery; appendix rupture can be the consequence of that. Dr. Kurt D. Newman, a paediatrician and surgeon at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.
thinks that a new look should be taken in children evaluation regarding conditions generally and abdominal pain in particular. He considers absolutely necessary to take these children into the system and insure them proper care. These opinions were published in the Oct. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association together with his and his team research results.
The tubular structure attached to the colon which has no particular role can inflame, what makes appendectomy necessary in most of the cases. The infection produced by its rupture extents inside the abdomen, and the toxic substance spreads, unless it is discovered and dealt with in time. This situation can even be lethal, and, in the easiest cases, as Dr. Newman says "Then you're dealing with five to 10 days of hospital care, with lots of expense and complications down the line". One of the main purposes of the doctor and his team was research in the national centers of pediatry in order to determine whether all children with appendicitis were properly cured and attended. 24400 surgical interventions performed on kids at schooler age from 1997 to 2002 in 36 important U. children hospitals were studied. The result proved Newman to be right: the chances for appendicitis to be discovered and treated in time were a lot higher in case of white or privately insured children than in minorities or those who don't have medical insurance. Asian and black American kids were 66%, respectively 18% more exposed to appendix rupture than white children.
In absence of clear reasons for racial discrimination, the doctor invokes the differences of language and culture together with differences in health care coverage. It is 36% more probable for uninsured children to suffer appendix bursts, and 48% in case of these insured by Medicaid, compared to children with private medical insurance. Doctor Newman also supposes that families that don't have private insurance often bring their children with appendicitis too late to the hospital, having a tendency to take appendicitis symptoms for routine stomach aches. Some unsophisticated clinics are, in Newman's opinion, in no condition to perform accurate tests and analysis, so that a proper diagnosis is impossible to give. Even ignoring the motivation for this kind of situation, the doctor gives some criteria for the population to suspect appendicitis, and not to take a simple stomach problem for it: "If it's a tummy-ache that seems out of proportion to the usual, if it's persisting, if it's localized to the lower right side of the abdomen, or is associated with nausea and vomiting -- those are all real warning signs that the child should be evaluated". He also suggests that both doctors and the category of people predisposed (or which have predisposed children) to appendicitis need to receive more information and education regarding this problem. He even gives the possible solution of visits paid by specialists at the predisposed people's homes, to describe them the disease and its complications. Health-care coverage remains another part of the solution, however. For many children, lack of insurance may be "impacting their ability to get either diagnosed, or to get the care they need," Newman said, and Child Welfare League of America, represented by their spokeswoman, Joyce Johnson, shared his point of view. She underlines the necessity for all children, not only for the insured one, to receive proper medical care whenever they need it.
The parents, according to her, should be aware of the fact that there are programs that can give them access to highly professional medical assistance. Same as Doctor Newman, she thinks education and a good information policy of the states to be decisive factors in the achievement of a solution. The programs exist, they can provide support, and the population must be aware of it.
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