Appendicitis claims

Their client-friendly approach ensures individuals feel safe and confident with them.

Chambers UK
Clinical Negligence

Appendicitis is relatively common and estimates predict that six in every 100 people in the UK will develop the condition at some point in their lives. It can arise in anyone of any age, although teenagers and young adults are generally the most commonly affected group.

Statistics also confirm that appendicitis is the most frequent cause of emergency hospital admissions for abdominal surgery in the UK, particularly because if left untreated, the inflamed appendix will eventually burst or perforate, spreading infection into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity's lining which may be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Unfortunately, appendicitis is often misdiagnosed. While in some instances a diagnosis may be difficult because the condition is at too early a stage or the symptoms are not ‘typical’, we often see cases where the appendicitis has been missed by medical practitioners, despite the patient’s history and clinical examinations which strongly indicate its presence.

In these situations, the delay in diagnosis may cause the appendix to rupture, resulting in more extensive surgery than would have been required otherwise. This can often give rise to significant distress, scarring, prolonged periods of recovery and, in the more extreme cases, can even affect women’s fertility.

The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches has considerable experience in advising people who have developed appendicitis and have concerns about the medical care they received.  Although for some patients a delay in diagnosis will not have any long-term impact, it will leave others with significant problems. We work with them to investigate their claims and look at their resulting needs – sometimes including plastic surgery costs for scarring, claims for restricted employment capacity and awards for fertility assistance. 

In addition to delays in diagnosis, we also assist in cases where there have been failures to provide proper advice about treatment options or in the technical performance of an appendectomy, including failing to remove the appendix completely. These cases can be complicated but our clinical negligence solicitors are able to draw upon their significant track record to offer clients the specialist guidance they need. Our initial consultation is provided free of charge and without obligation. Funding options available include no win no fee (conditional fee) agreements.

We offer expert advice on:

  • claims arising from infections either before or after surgery
  • misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis leading to perforation of the appendix
  • claims involving sepsis
  • negligence during surgery including internal organ perforation
  • technical errors during surgery including a failure to remove the appendix completely resulting in a retained appendix stump
  • cases resulting from inadequate advice on treatment options

Recent work highlights

Award for delays in diagnosis of appendicitis

Securing damages for a woman whose appendix ruptured causing sepsis within her abdomen after a hospital failed to investigate her condition, despite the fact that she was in severe pain and had a high temperature. She required treatment in intensive care post-operatively.


Complications following open surgery

Advising a patient who was not made fully aware of the possible options for treating his appendicitis and developed problems with his wound after surgery. He did not appreciate that he could have undergone keyhole surgery which is much less invasive.


Claim for child’s negligent treatment

Acting for a minor in a claim over failings in his treatment after he was admitted to hospital. Although doctors suspected appendicitis, he waited five days for surgery during which time his appendix perforated. He endured a lengthy recovery process.

See more detailed case studies

Related expertise

Latest tweets by @penn_clinneg

Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP