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Steve Wright: What is peritonitis and how does it kill?

DJ Steve Wright died from acute peritonitis and a perforated gastric peptic ulcer.

Steve Wright’s death certificate says he died from acute peritonitis and a perforated gastric peptic ulcer
Steve Wright’s death certificate says he died from acute peritonitis and a perforated gastric peptic ulcer (Ian West/PA)

DJ Steve Wright died from acute peritonitis and a perforated gastric peptic ulcer, according to his death certificate.

What is a peptic ulcer?

Peptic ulcers are sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach or upper portion of the small intestine.

If they occur on the inside of the stomach, they are known as gastric ulcers.

The most common causes of peptic ulcers are infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are widely used to relieve pain or reduce inflammation.

What are the symptoms?

Some people with these ulcers experience no symptoms, while others suffer burning stomach pain, a feeling of fullness or bloating, burping, heartburn and nausea.

A rare complication of stomach ulcers is when the lining of the stomach splits open, known as perforation.

What is peritonitis?

Peritonitis is an infection of the lining of the abdomen. It can occur if an ulcer perforates.

This can be very dangerous because the perforation enables bacteria in the stomach to escape, where it then infects the lining of the abdomen.

Symptoms of peritonitis include pain in the stomach, a very high temperature, rapid heartbeat and being unable to pee or peeing much less than normal.

Can peritonitis be treated?

Peritonitis can range from mild to severe but it is usually always regarded as a medical emergency owing to the fact is often caused by infection.

If the infection is not treated quickly, it can spread around the body and become life-threatening.

Treatment usually involves intravenous antibiotics for any bacterial infection, plus medication for pain.

Depending on the source of infection, people may also need surgery to remove infected organs or tissue.