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Gastroschisis: Etiology, Diagnosis, Delivery Options, and Care

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Gastroschisis, one of the more common congenital abdominal wall defects, results in herniation of fetal abdominal viscera into the amniotic cavity. This article discusses theories about gastroschisis etiology, in utero diagnostic tools, delivery options, and postdelivery care. Included are detailed considerations regarding immediate interventions after delivery to support the infant's thermal and fluid management needs and to protect the exposed bowel. Surgical options and postoperative care issues and complications are reviewed, as are respiratory distress and vena cava compression from increased abdominal pressure, nutritional support, and interventions related to the prevention of infection. Giving birth to an infant with gastroschisis is an upsetting experience for parents. Evidence suggests, however, that with today's advances in neonatal care and nutrition and with meticulous attention, the survival rate for infants born with gastroschisis can be excellent.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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