Ignore the signs and risk losing an organ

NEARLY three people a day are turning up to Queensland's public hospitals with twisted testicles so severe they risk losing the organ.

Queensland Health is warning men and parents of young boys of the dangers and signs of the condition after 930 patients presented to the state's public hospitals in the past year with the painful issue.

Doctors say men and boys have as little as six hours to seek treatment before they lose the precious organ.

Testicular torsion occurs when the spermatic cord rotates and cuts off the testicle's blood supply, causing severe pain and swelling.

It can be a congenital issue or can occur while sleeping, sitting on the couch, during physical activity or through trauma.

Most cases occur between the ages of 12 and 18 and growth during puberty can be a risk factor.

Queensland Children's Hospital surgeon Dr Bhavesh Patel said testicular torsion was a serious medical emergency that required urgent surgery.

"Men or boys need to be assessed straight away if they get a sore testicle or groin," Dr Patel said.

"There are only a few hours between when the pain starts to get them to the operating theatre in order to maximise the chance of survival of the affected testicle.

"We urge people to take immediate action as soon as testicular pain is noticed.

"It's a message that needs to be spread far and wide so men, boys, dads and mums understand how little time there is between saving and losing a testicle."

Two-hundred-and-five boys aged 10 or under and 457 males aged 20 and under were among the numbers to seek help at public hospitals in 2018-19.

Eighty-four boys required surgery at the Queensland Children's Hospital but four had presented too late to save the testicle.

Dr Patel said teenage boys may only complain of abdominal pain while newborns and infants were at risk because they could not articulate the source of pain.

"Red flags include pain, swelling of the scrotum, nausea and vomiting, and one testicle appearing higher than the other," Dr Patel said.

"If any of these are present, your son needs urgent medical care."

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