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Peritonitis is an infection in the lining that covers your abdomen and organs, called the peritoneum. Spontaneous peritonitis happens when fluid in the peritoneum becomes infected. Secondary peritonitis happens after an injury or surgery in your abdomen. A peritonitis infection can become life-threatening.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe pain in your abdomen that keeps you from being comfortable.
  • You have severe tenderness in your abdomen.
  • You have severe abdominal pain after you have an accident or are injured.
  • You are receiving peritoneal dialysis and the dialysis fluid is cloudy or has flecks or clumps.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines may be given to fight a bacterial infection or to reduce pain. Ask your healthcare provider how to take prescription pain medicine safely. You may also need medicines to relieve nausea or to stop vomiting.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.