Acute appendicitis.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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Acute appendicitis. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


The story of a case prepared for lay audiences. Description of appendix; general symptoms; progress of appendicitis. 2 segments.


United States, 1931.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (12.49 min.) : silent, black and white



Copyright note

British Medical Association

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales


Segment 1 The first part of the film explains the anatomy of the abdomen using diagrams and animations. The position of the appendix is shown and an animation shows the progression of inflammation in an appendix, resulting in appendicitis. The intertitles explain the possible consequences of appendicitis. The symptoms of appendicitis are listed, and the intertitles note that in the case of severe, persistent abdominal pain, a doctor should be called and the pain should not be treated by castor oil or other cathartics. The second part of the film is a dramatisation of a case of acute appendicitis. The daughter of a family is brought home from work with abdominal pain by the company nurse. Her mother attempts to give her castor oil but the nurse stops her and tells the parents to call a doctor in case it is appendicitis. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:06:17:24 Length: 00:06:17:24
Segment 2 The father agrees to call a doctor. When the doctor arrives, the daughter is in bed, and he agrees that she should be transferred to hospital for tests. At the hospital, the tests confirm she has appendicitis and the doctors operate immediately. The next day, the daughter is well and receives a visit from her parents. She is shown again 8 days later, and then upon her return home. The film ends with the intertitles once again stressing to call a doctor in the case of severe, persistent abdominal pain. Time start: 00:06:17:24 Time end: 00:12:49:06 Length: 00:06:31:07

Creator/production credits

Produced by Eastman Medical Films and American College of Surgeons

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