October 1968

Intestinal Obstruction in Infancy and Childhood

Author Affiliations

New Delhi
From the Department of Surgery, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associate Irwin and G. B. Pant Hospitals, New Delhi.

Arch Surg. 1968;97(4):544-552. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01340040040005

THE RESULTS of surgery for intestinal obstruction in adults have greatly improved during the past three decades due to better diagnostic aids, decompression of dilated intestinal loops by intubation, control of infection, more effective supportive therapy, and somewhat better operative techniques. The outlook for intestinal obstruction in the neonatal period, infancy, and childhood is still far from encouraging. A review of the literature1-23 revealed that the pertinent causes of high mortality of intestinal obstruction in early life are the following:

  1. Many of the newborn infants with intestinal anomalies are born prematurely and are poor candidates for any sort of operative procedures. The coincidence of other anomalies in these infants is also high.

  2. Surgery may be delayed due to inaccurate or tardy diagnosis. This is the most important preventable factor causing the high mortality. Many of these delays are chargeable to the obstetricians or the pediatricians but some

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