Pain over speed bumps in diagnosis of acute appendicitis: diagnostic accuracy study

Re: Pain over speed bumps in diagnosis of acute appendicitis: diagnostic accuracy study

21 December 2012

We wonder if the diagnostic accuracy may be improved by an illness severity measure that we have called the 'too ill to text' scale.

During a recent illness I gave my mobile phone to my partner because I felt so unwell. I spent several hours without electronic contact with the outside world. This led us to propose a new illness severity scale - the 'Too ill to text scale' - a simple scale that grades use of Facebook, twitter, SMS and email as a percentage of normal use. Of course, it will need to be adjusted for poor mobile reception in some of our hospitals. In my case, it was 12 hours at 100% reduction, followed by a rapid return to normal texting frequency but a gradual return over 36 hours to normal activity. A welcome side effect to my 'too ill to text' state was that my partner's contact with friends increased exponentially, as did his SMS response time. Sadly, this has had no medium or long term effects on his own chronic condition.

Competing interests: None declared

Vicci Owen-Smith, Consultant in public health

Robin Johnson, Melvyn Newton

NHS Stockport, Regent House, Heaton Lane, Stockport, SK4 1BS

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