May also be called: Secondary Peritonitis; Spontaneous Peritonitis
Peritonitis (pare-uh-tow-NY-tis) is inflammation of the layer of tissue that covers the wall of the abdomen, as well as most of the organs in the abdomen.
There are two kinds of peritonitis, spontaneous and secondary:
Untreated peritonitis can allow the infection to spread throughout the body and lead to sepsis. Peritonitis causes symptoms like abdominal pain, a bloated or firm abdomen, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.
Peritonitis is a serious, life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment (which may include antibiotics and surgery). In most cases, if the peritonitis and any underlying conditions are diagnosed in their early stages, prompt treatment can lead to a full recovery.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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