Gastrointestinal Injuries and Blockage

Signs or Symptoms of Abuse or Neglect

Gastrointestinal Injuries and Blockage

Nursing home patients often become constipated. The failure to address that problem timely can sometimes cause severe blockage, which can cause GI injuries and even death. Dehydration can also put elders at increased risk for GI problems and constipation.

The term “gastritis” refers to inflammation of the GI system. It has multiple causes. It can the result of an infection with the same bacterium that cause most stomach ulcers. Gastritis can occur suddenly or appear slowly over time, and in some cases lead to ulcers and an increase risk of stomach cancer. It is an inflammation of the stomach lining. One such inflection is the Helicobacter pylori, which never gives any signs or symptoms. Regular use of common pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, IB and others) and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox) can cause both acute gastritis and chronic gastritis.

Small Intestine Blockage involves some obstruction of the small intestines. Symptoms can include crampy abdominal pain that comes and goes, loss of appetite, constipation, vomiting, an inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas or swelling of the abdomen. Blockage may be a result of colon cancer, hernia, Crohn’s disease, a twisting of the colon (volvulus), impacted feces, or diverticulitis, a condition in which small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in the digestive tract become inflamed or infected.

Nursing homes are supposed to track daily input and output, especially for at risk patients. Reviewing the ADL (activity of daily living) records should show what percentages of food were consumed along with the resident’s daily output.