Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum. The chief symptoms of this disease are intense pain, tenderness of the abdomen on pressure, and some degree of fever; there is often vomiting, and the bowels are generally confined; the abdomen may become distended either from effusion of fluid into the peritonealt cavity, or from inflation of the intestines by the accumulation of gas; the pulse may be frequent and small; and in fatal cases the patient rapidly falls into a state of extreme collapse, Peritonitis may be due to exposure to cold, to extension of inflammation from adjoining structures, or to injury. Perforative peritonitis is the condition which obtains when there is a breach of continuity of the wall of one of the abdominal viscera (usually as the result of ulceration) with extravasation of its contents into the peritoneal cavity.