Peritonitis is an infection of the lining of the abdominal wall
(peritoneum) caused by bacteria or irritating substances. Peritonitis causes
pain and swelling in the abdomen and can be very serious if it is not treated.
Symptoms of peritonitis include:
Swelling of the abdomen, which may feel hard
Severe pain and tenderness in the abdomen that becomes
worse with moving, coughing, or pressing on the abdomen. The pain sometimes
reaches into the shoulder.
Nausea and vomiting.
Chills and fever.
A person with these symptoms requires immediate medical attention.
Treatment typically involves surgery and antibiotics. Without treatment, the
illness gets worse rapidly and can become life-threatening.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology