Appendicitis has an overall incidence of approximately 1 case per 1000 population per year, with 6 percent of the population experiencing appendicitis at some point in their lifetime. The overall impact is significant, since acute appendicitis results in an estimated 1 million hospital days annually in the United States. 1 Unfortunately, acute appendicitis can be extremely difficult to diagnose, and misdiagnosis remains an important cause of successful malpractice claims against emergency physicians.2

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