Acute Pancreatitis Complications
Possible complications of acute pancreatitis include lung problems, stomach problems, infections, and kidney failure. Problems involving the lungs may require the use of a ventilator. Stomach problems may call for an intravenous line to deliver fluids. Infections caused by acute pancreatitis may require treatment ranging from antibiotics to surgery. In the case of kidney failure, dialysis will be required.
There are a number of possible complications that can occur as a result of acute pancreatitis. Some of these include:
- Lung problems (including lung failure)
- Stomach problems
- Kidney failure.
Acute pancreatitis can cause breathing problems. Many people develop hypoxia, which means that cells and tissues are not receiving enough oxygen. Doctors treat hypoxia by giving oxygen through a face mask. Despite receiving oxygen, some people still experience lung failure and require a ventilator.
Sometimes a person cannot stop vomiting and needs to have a tube placed in his or her stomach to remove fluid and air. In mild cases, a person may not eat for three or four days and instead may receive fluids and pain relievers through an intravenous line.
If an infection develops, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Surgery may be needed for extensive infections. Surgery may also be necessary to find the source of bleeding, to rule out problems that resemble pancreatitis, or to remove severely damaged pancreatic tissue.
Acute pancreatitis can sometimes cause kidney failure. If the kidneys fail, dialysis will be required to help the kidneys remove wastes from the patient's blood.