PERITONITIS is an inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity. It may occur as a complication of abdominal surgery, a consequence of blunt abdominal trauma or following disease of abdominal organs. In spite of an improved understanding of the condition, the mortality rate remains high. Early diagnosis and appropriate intervention are, therefore, vital to the success of therapy. This article is directed at improving the understanding of the pathophysiology of peritonitis, and outlines the current recommendations which contribute to its successful management.
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