Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin membrane that lines the abdominal wall and covers the organs inside. It is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. There are two major types of peritonitis. Primary peritonitis happens when an infection spreads from the blood and lymph nodes to the peritoneum. This type of peritonitis is rare, less than 1% of all cases. The more common type of peritonitis, called secondary peritonitis, happens when the infection comes into the peritoneum through a perforation in the abdominal wall. Both cases of peritonitis are very serious and can be life threatening if not treated quickly.
HOW IS PERITONITIS DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of the same is done by a Gastroenterologist who would do an abdominal scan or X-ray along with a routine check-up. A blood test called complete blood count is also done.
HOW IS PERITONITIS TREATED?
Treatment for peritonitis depends on the underlying cause of the same. Usually antibiotics are given to the patient for fighting infection inside, especially as there is a high risk of pus accumulation. For patients who are on dialysis, the process is kept at hold until they are healed peritonitis.
DID YOU KNOW?
Complications from peritonitis can include:
• Sepsis: an infection throughout the blood and body that can cause shock, multiple organ failure, and death
• Abnormal clotting of the blood: often due to widespread infection
• Scar tissue in the peritoneum
• Acute respiratory distress syndrome: a severe infection of the lungs