A stomachache is a normal phenomenon, but there are some cases when a sharp pain in the gut leads to a serious gastrointestinal emergency. With that being said, emergency teams as well as common folk should know about certain life-threatening GI disturbances and how they apply urgent care. Taking care of our gut should always be a priority, but it still pays to know what to do when it undergoes a serious physical or chemical disruption. Here are some of the most critical gut issues you should watch out for and act on:
Within the abdomen, there is a membrane that protects essential organs. Also known as the peritoneum, this membrane becomes inflamed through a bacterial infection, causing severe symptoms that range from abdominal pain to diarrhea. Without prompt action, this condition can threaten the lives of patients, especially those who undergo peritoneal dialysis, are prone to stomach ulcers or were involved in accidents. For the latter, immediate medical care is necessary as there is always a high risk of infection in the peritoneum.
The gastrointestinal tract is very delicate and traumatic injuries have the potential to become worse than initial injuries. For this reason, it is important to learn techniques that can prevent blood loss and infection. While taking medical certification classes, you might also want to learn techniques such as applying pressure on punctured areas or preparing sterile dressing that can help stop the onset of infection.
Often caused by bacterial infection, peptic ulcers can also occur when patients consume excessive amounts of pain medication. When someone feels a burning sensation in their stomach coupled by a severe case of heartburn, then it’s best to seek immediate medical care. In most cases, a perforated peptic ulcer may also lead to a condition known as septic shock, requiring hemostasis.
If you or someone you know has difficulty passing stool, it could either be diarrhea or a bowel obstruction. Then again, the latter can be lethal for the patient. A prolonged bowel obstruction can lead to a build up of solid food and gases which could eventually cause a rupture within the abdomen. There are numerous reasons for this. In most cases, a bowel obstruction is caused by swallowed objects, infections as well as impacted stools. There are other cases when the obstruction is caused by tumors, hernias, and gallstones. At any rate, it is still important to treat the obstruction at the earliest before it becomes severe.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
While there is no way of pinning this fatal condition to a single cause, abdominal aortic aneurysm is often tied to traumatic injuries and genetics. Nonetheless, this condition causes severe symptoms that start from the stomach and rise to the chest area. Patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm may undergo initial medical tests such as a CT scan or an MRI, but depending on the size of the aneurysm, an open abdominal surgery would be the only life-saving option to consider.
While it is hard to distinguish one GI emergency from another, it is still important to act quickly before things get out of hand.