Intussusception is a condition where one segment of the
intestine slides into the adjacent segment causing obstruction, swelling and
inflammation. Intussusception can occur in both adults and children, but it is
more common in children (especially below the age of 3 years).
The exact cause for intussusception
is not known.
However, in some cases, it is thought to happen due to viral infections, tumor
or polyp in the intestine
. Intestinal developmental
defects present at birth and history of intussusception in the past increase
the chances of developing intussusception.
more commonly affected in comparison to girls. Children above 5 months of age
and below one year are commonly affected. However, it can affect older children
and even adults.
The most common site for intussusception is the
area where small intestine meets the large intestine (ileo-colic region
With intussusception, blood supply to the
affected part of the intestine gets reduced or disrupted. This leads to swelling
in that area and intestinal
. If the blood supply to the affected part is considerably
low, there is a chance of tissue death, bleeding and rupture of the intestine.
This in turn can cause infection in the abdominal cavity and lead to sepsis
Intussusception is a medical emergency and
requires immediate medical assistance to prevent major complications like gangrene
(death of intestinal
tissue) of the intestine, peritonitis, sepsis and shock. Usually, if treatment
given within 24 hours of onset of intussusception,
chances of developing complications are low.
and Symptoms of Intussusception in a Child
of Intussusception in a Child:
Sudden severe colicky abdominal
alternating with periods of no pain. As the condition
progresses, further pain only becomes stronger and intense. The baby pulls the
knees to the chest during episodes of pain•
Blood and mucus in the stools; the stools are described as currant jelly stools
Intussusception in a Child:
Swelling in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen
Complications related to Intussusception in a Child:
Death of intestinal tissue
Severe bleeding in the abdomen