Abstract Pandemic 2009 influenza A H1N1 has spread rapidly since its first report in Mexico in March 2009. This is the first influenza pandemic in over 40 years and it atypically affects previously healthy young adults, with higher rates of morbidity and mortality. The medical literature has been inundated with reports of H1N1 infection, the majority found in critical care and internal medicine journals with a relative paucity in the surgical literature. Despite this, it remains an important entity that can impact greatly on acute surgical emergencies. We present a case of previously healthy 31-year-old male who underwent open appendectomy. His post-operative recovery was complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to H1N1 infection. This case report highlights the impact that H1N1 virus can have on acute surgical emergencies and how it can complicate the post-operative course.