Think you've got appendicitis? Don't ask the doctor because, according to some recent findings, he won't have a clue.
One in five appendixes removed by surgery is found to be normal and one in five patients with appendicitis leaves the hospital without a correct diagnosis ever being made.
Surgeons get it wrong up to 45 per cent of the time even when they're carrying out a diagnostic laparotomy. False negatives claiming there isn't a problem when there is one also run high, at around 33 per cent.
But this hit or miss diagnosis could eventually be a thing of the past with the introduction of FACT (focussed appendix computed tomography). It's been claimed that FACT is 100 per cent accurate but it may not find its way to the UK in a hurry as specialists say that it is "over the top."
Better that, surely, than the current "in the dark".