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Perforated bowel?
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Perforated bowel?

My son was in the hospital for abdominal pain and blood in his stool. The CT scan showed heavy metal in his abdomen. They suspected perforated bowel, but he has no fever and pain is not severe & vomiting is mild. He reports having sweat that smells slightly like feces. He has never had surgery or other abdominal injuries. If it is not a perforated bowel, what could account for the metal seen in the CT scan. Can perforated bowel be mild, initially?  He is 2000 miles away & frightened. I'm trying to help decide how to follow up on this.
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Avatar_m_tn

"Heavy metal" (presumably the "iron and steel" variety - not the musical version...!!) does not grow in the intestines and can only have arrived there by swallowing, insertion, surgeon forgetting to remove metal items etc etc.

Perforation of the intestines can be dangerous because it may cause peritonitis which can be life threatening if not treated urgently.  I am not saying that this is what has happened to your son but, if this were my son/daughter miles away, and with the symptoms/history/previous medical suggestions, I would urge him/her to visit a hospital urgently for clarification and specifically to ask:-

- why am I having these symptoms?
- just what is the "heavy metal" inside me - what shape is it?
- will it pass through normally or does its removal require surgery?
- why do you suggest a perforated intestine?
- if so surely I am at risk of peritonitis and shouldn't the intestine be surgically repaired?

regards
Morecambe
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your comments. Fortunately my son (who is 19) will be going back to the hospital today, for further diagnostics. When previous surgery was ruled out as a source for the 'metal' they saw in the CT, they suspected perforated bowel as it then appears that the contrast medium was leaking into the abdomen.
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Avatar_n_tn
My two year old son died unexpectedly in his sleep 3 weeks ago, The intitial post mortem showed that he had a perforated bowel and died from septecemia as a result. Apparantly no injury was discovered. How can this have happened?
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Avatar_m_tn

Gosh - first of all my most sincere sympathy to you and your family.  

I am mystified by the diagnosis because, although I am not a doctor, the classic symptoms of bowel perforation are peritonitis which is normally easily diagnosed by severe abdominal pain/high temperature etc etc. - and which should allow medical intervention even of the final outcome is fatal.

I have never had to cope with the tragedy that you face - but I can imagine that you seek some form of explanation/closure to this event and I do think that you are entitled to ask a medical expert if there is a possible explanation.  Maybe the doctor who carried out the autopsy can elaborate further...??  Can you locate a paediatric gastroentorologist who, although he/she might not have examined your son, can at least make an assessment based on their medical experience??

Once again, I am so sorry for you.

regards
Morecambe

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