Our Service For You

Medical Negligence
Ruptured Intestine Symptoms

Ruptured Intestine Symptoms

If the small or large intestine ruptures, faeces, food and waste products will leak into the abdominal cavity. This will quickly result in a number of symptoms that should immediately alert medical professionals to the problem.

Symptoms of a ruptured intestine

There are various reasons the intestine might rupture. Most commonly the intestine will be punctured during a traumatic accident (e.g. a car crash) or accidentally cut during surgery. It is also common for chronic conditions to weaken the bowel to such an extent that a hole forms. This can include illnesses such as diverticulitis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Whatever the underlying cause is, the symptoms of a ruptured intestine will remain the same. Initially, these symptoms will include:-

  • A bloated abdomen;
  • Constipation;
  • Nausea;
  • Sudden pain in the abdomen.

Within a very short space of time faeces and waste products will leak into the abdominal cavity, allowing the spread of bacteria. This will lead to further symptoms such as:-

  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Fever;
  • Tender and severely painful abdomen;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Increased heart rate.

If left untreated, the spread of bacteria will soon cause the lining of the abdomen called the peritoneum to become infected. This is known as peritonitis and can quickly make a patient critically ill.

Recognising the symptoms of a ruptured intestine

If a patient is displaying the symptoms described above and has a recent history of trauma, has recently has abdominal surgery or has a chronic bowel condition, doctors should immediately suspect a ruptured intestine. If not, they should appreciate that a patient has a serious abdominal infection and take steps to figure out the underlying cause. This can be achieved with a CT scan or an MRI scan which will show the presence of escaped air in the abdominal cavity.

Unfortunately, however, medical professionals do not always make a timely diagnosis. This will lead to a delay in treatment, the consequences of which can be devastating. A patient will rapidly become increasingly unwell with peritonitis and, if a patient is frail, this can ultimately be fatal. Nevertheless, doctors should diagnose a ruptured intestine soon after a patient arrives at hospital, as the symptoms should set alarm bells ringing, prompting urgent investigations. A failure to do so will be considered unacceptable.

Anyone who is injured because of an unacceptable standard of medical care will be eligible to pursue a compensation claim for the pain and damage this has caused. If this has happened to you or your loved one, please do not hesitate to speak to a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim.

Bookmark This Article?

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

Free enquiry


Free Claim Enquiry

Complete a short enquiry form and we will contact you.

Free enquiry



"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

» Read More Medical Negligence Testimonials?

Helping Clients throughout England and Wales

contact us


Free Medical Negligence Guide

'7 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing A Medical Negligence Solicitor'

Free download