Intestinal blockages generally cause severe stomach pain, but your baby cannot explain to you exactly how it feels or where it hurts. However, there are many symptoms and signs that may help you know if your baby has a blockage.
Signs of a blockage may include:
- Bloating or swelling of the abdomen
- Grunting or crying in a way that seems to indicate pain
- Drowsiness and weakness
- Blood in the stool
- Vomiting, sometimes containing green bile
A complete blockage of the intestines can cause lasting problems for the baby, and even death if they do not get the necessary treatment. If you have concerns that your baby has a blockage, you should have them evaluated by a doctor immediately, as this condition could require emergency treatment.
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Why Babies Develop Intestinal Obstructions
A blockage occurs when there is a partial or complete blockage of your baby’s large or small intestine. A doctor may refer to this type of condition as an intestinal obstruction. There are several types of intestinal obstructions with different causes and symptoms.
A blockage can make it difficult for liquids, digested food, and other stomach contents to move through the intestines as they normally would. In some cases, damage to the intestines could occur, which may require surgery to repair.
In infants, many of the causes of blockages are not preventable. They may include infections, strangulation of the intestines, and a number of underlying medical conditions that affect the digestive system. However, getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment can prevent many serious complications.
Intussusception is a common cause of blockages in young children, usually under age three. Intussusception occurs when the intestine slips inside itself. As a result, food cannot pass through, and the intestine becomes blocked. Intussusception is rare in newborns and more likely to appear in babies over three months old.
If your newborn is struggling with their first bowel movement, they may have meconium ileus. Bring your child for an immediate evaluation if you believe they are unable to produce stool. Meconium ileus could be related to cystic fibrosis.
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Treatments for a Blockage in Babies
A doctor can help you know for certain if your baby has a blockage, which is why it is recommended that you seek medical care as soon as possible when your baby has symptoms of a blockage.
Your doctor or an emergency room doctor should act quickly when they recognize the signs. They will discuss your baby’s behavior with you and run tests to confirm or rule out a blockage as the cause of their symptoms.
When you take your child to the emergency department or doctor, they may press gently on your child’s stomach to check for tenderness and order tests. This may include an X-ray of the baby’s stomach to identify the location of a blockage.
Thankfully, many blockages in babies are partial, and the doctor may opt for less invasive treatments or non-invasive treatments if they believe there is time. This may make it possible to avoid surgery or other invasive treatments.
Intestinal Blockages and Medical Malpractice Cases
If your child had an intestinal blockage and the doctor who examined them missed the diagnosis, diagnosed them with the wrong condition, or did not determine the full extent of their condition, it can prevent them from providing the necessary treatment. This can greatly increase the risk of complications and even death.
Failure to diagnose or treat a patient when they present with symptoms may qualify as medical negligence in some cases. If another medical care provider with similar training and experience believes the doctor failed to provide your baby with an acceptable standard of care, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice case. This could allow your family to recover compensation for your costs of medical treatment, pain and suffering, and more.
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Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group represents families nationwide in medical malpractice lawsuits. If you believe that the doctor’s negligence harmed your child, we may be able to help you recover compensation.
For a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with a member of our team, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today (800) 222-9529.