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Understanding Neonatal Bowel Obstruction: Building Knowledge to Advance Practice

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Providing care to neonates with bowel obstruction requires a basic understanding of gastrointestinal (GI) anatomy and functional landmarks as well as knowledge of the pathophysiology associated with intestinal blockage. Early recognition and prompt diagnosis necessitate astute assessment of common presenting symptoms and accurate interpretation of diagnostic investigations. Initial medical management is focused primarily on gastric decompression and maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance. This article describes features of the neonatal GI tract and discusses common causes of neonatal bowel obstruction.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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