Small Bowel Perforation

Small Bowel Perforation

The small bowel plays a vital role in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients. Perforation of the small bowel is a severe injury that may become life-threatening. Any small bowel perforation is both a medical and a surgical emergency. There are several causes of perforation of the small bowel. They include:

  • Blunt Impacts: A blunt impact to the abdomen could lead to a rupture of the small intestines. The small bowel snakes through the abdomen and, because of its length, it is vulnerable to severe injury in an auto accident or a motorcycle collision.
  • A Penetrating Injury: A penetrating injury of the abdomen could also lead to small bowel perforation. Glass, metal, or other shrapnel could enter the abdomen and damage the organs underneath.

It is essential to understand how small bowel perforation is treated and some of the complications that could result.

Treatment of a Small Bowel Perforation

If someone has sustained an impact to the abdomen in a severe accident, he or she might be diagnosed with small bowel perforation. This is typically visualized on imaging scans such as an ultrasound or a CT scan. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment can begin. This is generally done through surgery. Some of the steps involved in this procedure include:

  • A trained surgeon will open up the abdomen using surgical tools
  • Any of the holes in the intestines will be identified
  • These holes will either be sewn closed
  • If that segment of the intestines cannot be repaired, it will be removed
  • The abdomen is closed

The recovery process following this surgery can be prolonged. If it is not treated quickly, life-threatening complications might develop.

Serious Complications: Septic Shock

If the small bowel has been perforated, the contents of the intestines will leak into the abdominal cavity. When this happens, this could lead to septic shock. This is what happens when the body responds to a severe infection. Some of the signs of septic shock include:

  • High fevers
  • Sweating
  • A rising heart rate
  • Falling blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Altered mental status, confusion, or disorientation

The treatment of septic shock often requires intravenous antibiotics, extra fluids, and antibiotics. If not treated quickly, septic shock could lead to death.

Watch YouTube Video: How to Recognize Sepsis Symptoms. This video provides a few tips on how to recognize the symptoms of septic shock.

Meeting with an Injury Attorney

If a family member needs to have surgery to repair a small bowel perforation, this could place everyone under an extreme amount of stress. There could be questions about when and how this recovery is going to unfold. For help during this time, it is prudent to meet with a caring injury attorney in Sacramento. Families need to know that support is always available following a severe accident. Reach out to an experienced injury lawyer in Sacramento today.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Small bowel perforation is always a medical emergency and should be treated immediately. Should you suffer a penetrating injury of the abdomen in a serious accident, you can reach out to me at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 to receive free and friendly legal guidance and advice.

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Image Citation: The image used at the top of this post was found first on Pixabay and has been shown here with permission.

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