Peritonitis is one of the major complications of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). It is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs. It is majorly caused by bacterial infection either via the blood or after rupture of an abdominal organ.
The signs and symptoms of peritonitis include: Swelling and tenderness in the abdomen with pain ranging from dull aches to severe, sharp pain. Other symptom’s include-Fever and chills, Loss of appetite, Thirst, Nausea and vomiting, Less urine and Not being able to pass gas or stool.
The first primary step in treating peritonitis is determining its underlying cause. Treatment usually involves antibiotics to fight infection and medication for pain. If peritonitis is caused by peritoneal dialysis, antibiotics may be injected directly into the peritoneum. Research has shown this is more effective than injecting antibiotics into a vein. In the cases of serious damages surgical removal of tissues is required.
Results on age as a risk factor were inconsistent. Four studies found an increased risk for peritonitis in older patients defined as >65 or >70 years.