National Geographic : 1937 Nov
Don't fate iedcine- maye i/s APPENDICITIS is taking American lives at the Rate of one every thirty-one minutes, day and night, week in and week out. Self-treatment often contributes to this loss of valuable human life, for appendicitis may be a relatively simple illness. Many deaths from appendicitis could be pre vented if, whenever an abdominal pain persists, everyone would follow these three simple rules: 1. Do not take a laxative, solid food, or medicine of any kind. 2. Stay quietly in bed. 3. Call a doctor. Acute inflammation of the appendix is almost al ways accompanied by a persistent pain and ten derness in the abdomen. Contrary to common belief, the pain rarely begins in the lower right side, although after some hours it usually settles there. It may be accompanied by fever or nausea, or both. Of course, not all intestinal discomfort is caused by appendicitis, but anyone who has a severe, persistent abdominal pain needs the rrri r - APPENDICITIS prompt attention of a competent physician. In cases of acute appendicitis any kind of laxative is dangerous, because it increases intestinal ac tivity and may induce peritonitis, the dreaded and sometimes fatal complication. Even if the pain suddenly subsides, no one but a doctor can tell whether or not an operation is necessary. During his diagnosis, the doctor often finds it nec essary to make blood counts and to observe the patient's temperature over a period of time. He may say that the attack can be relieved without operating, or he may order an operation imme diately. Delay in calling a doctor is dangerous. When an appendix operation is promptly performed by a skilled surgeon, it is generally successful. Authori ties agree that if everyone observed the three simple rules which appear above, many of the sixteen to eighteen thousand deaths from ap pendicitis which occur in the United States each year could be avoided. METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY FREDERICK H. ECKER, Chairman of the Board LEROY A. LINCOLN, President ONE MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y. Copyright, 1937, by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."