Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
Site Search

Peritoneal sample
Peritoneal sample


Definition:

Secondary peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the tissue lining the abdominal cavity. Secondary means it is due to another condition, most commonly the spread of an infection from the digestive tract.



Alternative Names:

Secondary peritonitis



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Secondary peritonitis has several major causes. Bacteria may enter the peritoneum through a hole (perforation) in the gastrointestinal tract. Such a hole may be caused by a ruptured appendix, stomach ulcer, perforated colon, or injury, such as a gunshot or knife wound.

Secondary peritonitis can also occur when bile or chemicals released by the pancreas (pancreatic enzymes) leak into the lining of the abdominal cavity.

Foreign contaminants can also cause secondary peritonitis if they get into the peritoneal cavity. This can occur during use of peritoneal dialysis catheters.

Inflammation of the peritoneal cavity caused by bacteria can result in infection of the bloodstream (sepsis) and severe illness.

Secondary peritonitis can also affect premature babies who have necrotizing enterocolitis .



Symptoms: Note: There may be signs of shock .

Signs and tests:

Vital signs may be abnormal with fever, rapid heart rate and breathing, and low blood pressure.

Tests may include:



Treatment:

Surgery is usually necessary to remove sources of infection such as an infected bowel, inflamed appendix, or abscess .

General treatment includes:

  • Antibiotics
  • Fluids through a vein (IV)
  • Pain medicines
  • Tube through the nose into the stomach or intestine (nasogastric or NG tube)


Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

The outcome depends on the underlying cause, the duration of symptoms before treatment, and the general health of the patient. Outcomes can range from complete recovery to overwhelming infection and death, depending on these factors.



Complications:
  • Abscess
  • Gangrene (dead) bowel
  • Intraperitoneal adhesions ( (a potential cause of future bowel blockage)
  • Septic shock


Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of peritonitis . This is a serious condition that typically requires emergency medical treatment.



Prevention:



References:

Turnage RH, Richardson KA, Li BD, McDonald JC. Abdominal wall, umbilicus, peritoneum, mesenteries, omentum, and retroperitoneum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2008:chap 43.




Review Date: 7/23/2008
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, Clinic. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100