Incarcerated

Definition - What does Incarcerated mean?

Incarcerated refers to the displacement of organ tissue as it slips through protective muscle wall lining where it becomes trapped or immovable, causing a visible bulge, or hernia, to appear on the surface of the skin. An incarcerated organ can strangulate blood circulation leading to necrosis (tissue death). At this stage, toxins and infectious agents enter and permeate the bloodstream, compromising health.

WorkplaceTesting explains Incarcerated

An incarcerated organ often happens as a result of weak intramuscular structures, often compounded by straining during bowel movements, COPD-induced coughing fits, pregnancy, and an improper heavy lifting technique. It is recommended that people with an incarcerated hernia consult a doctor who will correlate medical history with recent circumstances to determine aggravating factors while avoiding strangulation of blood supply to adjacent organs.

A majority of people experience inguinal hernias that occur at the pubic region, where a segment of the small intestine balloons outward from its normal position. Symptoms can include an accelerated heart rate, exhaustion, fever, nausea/vomiting, and severe pain. Although an incarcerated organ does not pose immediate health concerns, if left untreated, strangulation follows, which requires urgent medical intervention. Doctors attempt to replace the bulging organ inside the abdomen accompanied with surgical material such as stitches or an elastic mesh reinforcement to keep it intact.

In the workplace, incarcerated and strangulated hernias are often caused by heavy and repetitive lifting motions over an extended period of time. Doctors will assess whether open surgery or laparoscopic (small camera unit) surgery is needed to remedy the issue in the interest of workers’ compensation claims.

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