National Geographic : 1944 Jun
Stomach-ache or Appendicitis? -it's not for you to say DON'T DO THIS: If you have an unusual ab dominal pain-don't take laxatives or home rem edies; don't take food or liquids, except water. WHY NOT? Food or laxatives might rupture the appendix, if it's inflamed, and, thus, spread infection-the cause of most deaths in appendi citis. These complications are four times as fre quent among those who take laxatives. DO THIS: If the pain is puzzling and persist ent, if it's accompanied by nausea or vomiting, call a doctor at once. WHY? Only a doctor is qualified to say whether you have appendicitis. He may want to take one or more blood-cell counts, watch your tempera ture, and wait for pain to localize. Chances are it isn't appendicitis. If it is, and an operation is ad vised, quick action may save life, time, money. DON'T DO THIS: Don't try to go about your business. Don't rub the spot that hurts, or apply an ice bag or hot-water bag. WHY NOT? Physical exertion or massaging may be dangerous if the appendix is inflamed. Heat or cold might kill the pain and give the idea that the attack has passed. It may be "only a stomach-ache." But that's not for you to decide. Do THIS: Stay in bed, resting comfortably until the doctor comes. WHY? If you do have appendicitis, complete rest may help prevent serious complications. Prompt attention, together with the recent ad vances in medical science, have reduced by half the deaths from appendicitis in the past few years. Send for Metropolitan'sfree booklet, 64-N, entitled, "Appendicitis." Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) Frederick H. Ecker, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK 10, N.Y.