Priapism: a medical emergency

Hosp Med. 2002 Apr;63(4):224-5. doi: 10.12968/hosp.2002.63.4.2041.


Priapism is defined as a prolonged penile erection that fails to subside despite orgasm. It is a medical emergency which should be diagnosed and treated early to preserve erectile function and avoid corporal fibrosis resulting from anoxia of the corporal tissue. Decompression is usually successful with no permanent damage if treatment is provided within 12 hours of onset.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Examination
  • Priapism / diagnosis
  • Priapism / etiology
  • Priapism / therapy*