When a bowel obstruction occurs in your clients, this means that foods that have been ingested plus liquids and digestive secretions accumulate above the blockage. The bowel section involved in the blockage then becomes distended and the segment can collapse. This means that the normal functions that the bowel wall typically does become compromised and the distended section will get progressively worse. When your client suffers from a complete blockage, this becomes a severe medical emergency! Nearly 20% of people that get admitted to the hospital after reporting acute abdominal pain are due to a bowel obstruction and the majority of these occur in the small intestine.
Both mechanical and non-mechanical issues can cause bowel obstruction; so can stress!
According to the Digestive Health Centre, paralytic ileus refers to a non-mechanical obstruction where the rhythmic muscle contractions of the intestine, known as peristalsis, stops. The bowel becomes dilated and can no longer move the contents to the anus. It may occur when there is another medical condition such as a chest infection, acute heart attack, stroke, acute kidney failure, trauma, severe hypothyroidism, electrolyte disturbance or a complication of diabetes.
Of course, in younger people, other things may cause bowel obstruction, but we are only concerned at this point with the elderly, so we will stick to those topics of concern. By doing so, we will show our clients that With Age Comes Respect.
More information on this dire topic are sure to follow!