Acute intestinal obstruction – a life-threatening pathological condition which is characterized by impaired passage of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract in the direction from the stomach to the anus. It is not a distinct disease and is a complication of a variety of diseases. However, having arisen, intestinal obstruction develops in the same scenario and is accompanied by typical clinical manifestations. In the absence of timely treatment the prognosis of bowel obstruction extremely poor.

The causes of acute intestinal obstruction

Accepted provide dynamic intestinal obstruction, impaired motor function when the intestinal wall (ie, impaired motility and promotions contents of the intestines stops) and the mechanical intestinal obstruction (in this case there is a mechanical bowel obstruction at any level).

Mechanical obstruction is more common and may occur due to blockage of the intestine foreign body, tumor, feces, and also due to compression or restriction of the intestine from the outside with adhesions in the abdominal cavity, or roll the formation of knots. Dynamic intestinal obstruction can occur with diffuse peritonitis from any cause, with the long-term stoped biliary or renal colic after surgery on the abdominal organs, for poisoning by salts of heavy metals, as well as injuries and tumors of the brain and spinal cord (when disturbed innervation of the intestinal wall).

Of great importance is the level at which there was a bowel obstruction. The greater the obstacle appears, the harder it flows, the more vigorous therapeutic measures it requires.

The symptoms of acute intestinal obstruction

– Strong, cramping or persistent abdominal pain, occurring suddenly, regardless of the meal, with no specific localization
– Bloating;
– Intractable vomiting (the higher the level of obstruction, the more pronounced vomiting)
– Delay stool and gas (high obstruction may be first chair at the expense of bowel obstruction below).


The acute intestinal obstruction emergency doctor may suspect the patient is already under examination (examination includes questioning, palpation, percussion and auscultation of the abdomen, blood pressure measurement, auscultation of the heart and lungs). Suspected obstruction is an absolute indication for hospitalization of the patient.

In the emergency department of the hospital in the first survey carried out X-ray and abdominal ultrasound. When signs of intestinal obstruction to refine the localization process is performed X-rays to oral administration of contrast material. It may also be performed colonoscopy (endoscopic method for studying the large intestine) and other advanced research.

What you can do?

At the slightest suspicion of the occurrence of this terrible state to be called “first aid”. The clinical picture of intestinal obstruction takes place within a few hours. Date of receipt of such patients to hospitals in many ways determine the prognosis and outcome of the disease.

What will the doctor?

Therapeutic Management of intestinal obstruction depends on the cause, it caused, and the option of obstruction. In most cases it is necessary urgent surgery.

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