Intussusception In Children – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Intussusception In Children

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As a parent, are you losing sleep worrying about your child’s health? Despite your busy schedule, you try to take care of every aspect of your child’s health and immunity – right from what your child eats, to all the vaccinations.

However, sometimes despite your best efforts, your child may be falling sick. Children fall ill frequently because they are more prone to certain types of infections and diseases. Knowing about them will help you spot the symptoms and prevent the condition from getting worse. One such condition that you should know about is intussusception or intestinal blockage in children.

What Is Intussusception In Children?

Intussusception is a condition in which one segment of the intestine slides into the other intestine, usually in the downstream one. The condition is prevalent in children between the ages of three months and five years. Intussusception is one of the most common causes of intestinal blockage in children.

[ Read: Nausea In Children ]

Intussusception In Children Causes:

We list down a few situations that may trigger Intussusception:

  1. A polyp or tumor
  2. A viral infection
  3. A nodule of the lymph node

What Are The Effects Of Intussusception?

Intussusception causes the walls of the intestine to press together which can lead to the following problems:

  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Decrease in the blood flow

Intussusception can even block the passage of food through the intestine. Decreasing blood flow to the affected intestine may even cause its eventual death. As a result, there may be bleeding. In severe cases where a hole develops, issues like infection, dehydration or shock can take place in very less time.

[ Read: Dehydration In Children ]

Intussusception In Children Symptoms:

A severe abdominal pain usually accompanies intussusception, which may be unbearable for your little toddler.

Here are a few more symptoms of Intussusception in child:

  1. The pain will be spasmodic and not continuous
  2. Each time that the pain returns it will be stronger and last for a longer duration of time
  3. Your child will have fever
  4. Your child will be vomiting
  5. If your child goes into shock, he could be – sweating heavily, or feeling sudden lethargy or may even be turning pale.
  6. Your child’s stool will be mixed with blood and mucus
  1. Your child may experience one or more of the above symptoms.

What Are The Tests For Intussusception In Kids?

Depending on your child’s age, and the severity of the condition, your child’s doctor may do a thorough examination that may reveal one or more of the following:

  • A mass in the abdomen
  • Signs of shock or dehydration
  • The doctor may recommend an abdominal X-ray
  • The doctor may also recommend an air or contrast enema test

[ Read: Chest Pain In Children ]

Intussusception Treatment In Children:

Once your child’s doctor has examined and done a diagnosis, the following steps may be taken for treatment:

  1. The first step will be to stabilize your child
  2. A tube will be passed through your child’s nose into the stomach
  3. Fluid will be administered via an IV line to prevent or treat any dehydration
  4. Doctor may continue IV fluids until your child’s bowel movements are normal again. If required, a radiologist will perform air or contrast enema. Doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat or prevent infection
  5. In case nothing works your child will need surgery

Early diagnosis can treat Intussusception. Do take care to notice any sudden symptoms in your child and do not dismiss any crying as crankiness. Try to find out the cause of your child’s discomfort. Pay attention to your child’s bowel and texture, especially if you have a younger child.

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