What is included in emergency medical care for intestinal perforation?

Updated: Jul 24, 2020
  • Author: Samy A Azer, MD, PhD, MPH; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Treatment is primarily surgical. Emergency medical care includes the following steps:

  • Establish intravenous (IV) access, and initiate crystalloid therapy in patients with clinical signs of dehydration or septicemia
  • Do not give anything by mouth
  • Start IV administration of antibiotics to patients with signs of bloodstream infection; antibiotics should cover aerobic and anaerobic organisms; the goals of antibiotic treatment are to eradicate infection and to minimize related postoperative complications

However, if symptoms and signs of generalized peritonitis are absent, a nonoperative policy may be used with antibiotic therapy directed against gram-negative and anaerobic bacteria. [18, 19]

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