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Speed bumps used to diagnose appendicitis?

Posted Dec 27th 2012 5:14PM

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This... doesn't seem right, but just bear with this report from Wired. It seems as though driving over speed bumps can reveal those who are enduring acute appendicitis. This was a rumoured thing among medical circles based purely on anecdotal data, but now there is an empirical study by the University of Oxford and Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the UK to back it up.

Apparently, when attempting to diagnose appendicitis, some doctors would ask if pain worsened when driving over speed bumps. It was not exact medicine, but according to Dr. Helen Ashdown of Oxford, it has been "as good as many other ways of assessing people with suspected appendicitis."

The Oxford study showed that the speed bump test was more helpful at ruling out appendicitis than confirming its diagnosis since other abdominal issues could also cause pain in those situations. So patients with acute appendicitis would experience pain going over a speed bump, but those who don't feel a jolt can be ruled out entirely as having acute appendicitis.

That said, don't go driving over speed bumps expecting to perform your own diagnosis. Your results may vary!






Appendicitis Explained

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