An infection is the condition of multiplication of parasitic organisms or microorganisms within the body. An inflammation is the reactions that occur in the affected blood vessels and adjacent tissues in response to an injury or abnormal stimulation caused by a physical, chemical, or biologic agent. Many people use the terms interchangeably since they have several symptoms in common and usually are treated similarly.
Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, which is the membrane that lines the wall of the abdomen and covers the abdominal organs.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Types of peritonitis include:
Intra-abdominal abscess (abdominal abscess). This condition involves a collection of pus in the abdomen and may cause peritonitis. Before peritonitis develops, it can still cause symptoms that are similar or identical to peritonitis.
The cause must be identified and treated promptly.
Treatment typically involves fluid infusion to control shock, surgery to drain the peritoneal cavity and repair the cause, and antibiotics to deal with the infection. In cases associated with peritoneal dialysis, antibiotics may be infused through the dialysis catheter, but if the infection is severe, the catheter itself must often be removed.
Treatment typically involves surgery and antibiotics.
Course of illness
The outcome is often good with treatment, but can be poor without treatment.
Sometimes the outcome is poor even with prompt and adequate treatment.
Peritonitis can be life-threatening and cause a number of different complications, depending on the type.
Complications may include
What Should You Do?
Go to the Hospital emergency room or call 911 if you have symptoms that may indicate peritonitis, as this is a medical emergency.