Can Constipation Result in a Trip to the ER?

Constipation occurs when an individual has less than 3 bowel movements a week. This is the general definition for constipation, and it can happen to most people on an occasional basis. It becomes a problem when constipation is happening chronically or on a more frequent basis. As per a recent study, as many as 42 million Americans suffer from this disorder. Another concern regarding constipation is deciphering whether it is a health emergency or not. As per the latest study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, the number of constipation-related emergency room visits in the U.S between 2006 and 2011 increased by 42%. Furthermore, it also reveals that in 2011, $1.6 billion was spent on ER care related to constipation alone. If you are not sure whether your constipation problem may require a trip to the ER or not, here are some signs to help you understand your case better:

  • Immediately visit an ER if you are experiencing constipation along with severe abdominal pain;
  • When you are finding it hard to pass gas, see a doctor at an ER nearby;
  • If you feel constipated in addition to vomiting frequently, and,
  • You get a sensation of stomach bloating where you constantly feel full, tight and witness abdominal swelling

What Is Bowel Obstruction?

A bowel obstruction comes about when the small or large intestine gets blocked. A full or complete obstruction is a situation where you need emergent treatment in an ER; whereas a partial blockage, which is often caused by chronic gastrointestinal conditions, such as Chrons disease, is not as serious a problem but will still need a medical evaluation nonetheless. Sometimes partial obstruction requires admission to the hospital depending on the cause. A complete bowel obstruction can be cause by constipation particularly when dry, hard stool gets impacted in the large bowel or rectum. These cases sometimes require surgical evaluation to relieve the obstruction. The pain  that arises from a blockage basically comes from the stretching of the bowels. If left untreated, complications such as a ruptured bowel can occur which is definitely a surgical emergency. The physician will many times insert a tube to help decompress the bowel which also provides the patient with significant relief. All in all, it is imperative to learn and understand that the stool is waste matter. It should not be lodged in your colon or rectum for extended periods of times even if your symptoms aren’t very serious right now, it doesn’t mean you should not take this medical condition seriously. At Victoria ER, we provide families with immediate care and attention via our 24 hour emergency care services in Victoria, Texas. Read what our patients have to say or contact us for further inquiries.

 Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Victoria ER or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.