Peritonitis is a redness and swelling (inflammation) of the tissue that lines your
belly or abdomen. This tissue is called the peritoneum. It can be a serious, deadly
Peritonitis is caused by an infection. Bacteria can enter the lining of your belly from
a hole in your GI (gastrointestinal) tract. This can happen if you have a hole in your
colon or a burst appendix.
person’s symptoms may vary. They may include:
These symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider
to be sure.
It’s important to find out right away if you have peritonitis. It can lead to severe health problems very quickly.
healthcare provider will look at your past health. He or she will give you an exam.
Peritonitis is often diagnosed by looking at a sample of the infected fluid taken from
Other tests you may need are:
medical care right away. Peritonitis can lead to serious health problems very
You will be admitted to a hospital. You will be given IV (intravenous) infection-fighting medicines (antibiotics). These will treat the infection.
If you have organ failure, you may also be given other treatments.
will likely need emergency surgery to find and remove what is causing the infection.
This is done when the infection may be caused by:
Peritonitis can cause severe health problems. It can be deadly if not treated right away.
Peritonitis can make fluid fill up in your belly. This can cause severe fluid loss or
peritonitis isn’t treated, the infection can quickly spread through your body. This can
cause an extreme response from your infection-fighting system (immune system) called
Sepsis is a fast-moving, serious health problem. It happens when chemicals sent into
your bloodstream to fight the infection cause swelling over a large part of your body.
This can slow blood flow and hurt your organs.
Severe sepsis can cause your body to go into shock. It can lead to organ failure and death.
Peritonitis can cause severe health problems. It can be deadly if not treated quickly. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of peritonitis.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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