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Posted: November 9th, 2023

Examining the Practice and Knowledge of Paediatric Nursing Experts in Providing Preoperative and

Examining the Practice and Knowledge of Paediatric Nursing Experts in Providing Preoperative and Postoperative Nursing Care for Children with Intestinal Obstruction

Intestinal obstruction is a serious condition that affects the normal passage of food and fluids through the digestive tract. It can cause severe pain, vomiting, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and even bowel perforation or death. Children with intestinal obstruction require prompt diagnosis and treatment, which may include surgery to remove the blockage or repair the damaged bowel. Preoperative and postoperative nursing care are essential to ensure the safety and recovery of these patients.

The aim of this paper is to examine the practice and knowledge of paediatric nursing experts in providing preoperative and postoperative nursing care for children with intestinal obstruction. The paper will review the literature on the causes, signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of intestinal obstruction in children, as well as the best practices and guidelines for preoperative and postoperative nursing care. The paper will also discuss the challenges and barriers that paediatric nurses face in delivering quality care for this patient population, and the strategies and interventions that can improve their practice and knowledge.

Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Intestinal Obstruction in Children

Intestinal obstruction can be classified into two types: mechanical and functional. Mechanical obstruction occurs when there is a physical blockage or narrowing of the bowel lumen, preventing the passage of intestinal contents. Functional obstruction occurs when there is a problem with the motility or coordination of the bowel muscles, resulting in impaired peristalsis or contractions. Both types of obstruction can cause a build-up of gas and fluids in the bowel, leading to increased pressure, inflammation, ischemia, necrosis, and perforation.

The causes of intestinal obstruction in children vary depending on their age group. In neonates and infants, the most common causes are congenital anomalies (such as atresia, stenosis, malrotation, volvulus, meconium ileus), intussusception (the telescoping of one segment of bowel into another), hernia (the protrusion of a part of an organ through an abnormal opening), and foreign bodies (such as coins, magnets, batteries). In older children, the most common causes are appendicitis (the inflammation of the appendix), adhesions (the formation of scar tissue after previous surgery or infection), Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive tract), and tumors (benign or malignant growths).

The signs and symptoms of intestinal obstruction in children depend on the location, duration, and severity of the obstruction. The general signs and symptoms include abdominal pain (which may be crampy, colicky, or constant), abdominal distension (swelling or bloating), vomiting (which may be bilious or feculent), constipation or diarrhea (which may be bloody or mucous), dehydration (loss of fluids and electrolytes), fever (sign of infection or inflammation), tachycardia (rapid heart rate), hypotension (low blood pressure), shock (life-threatening condition due to inadequate blood flow to vital organs), and peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity due to bowel perforation).

The diagnosis of intestinal obstruction in children is based on the history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. The history should include information about the onset, frequency, duration, location, character, and intensity of pain; the presence and nature of vomiting; the frequency and consistency of bowel movements; the intake and output of fluids; any previous abdominal surgery or trauma; any family history of bowel disorders; any ingestion of foreign bodies; any medications or allergies; and any other relevant factors. The physical examination should include inspection, auscultation


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