Management of the Infant With Gastroschisis: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature

Tracey Williams, MSN, RN, NNP, Rachel Butler, MSN, RN, NNP, Tara Sundem, MSN, RN, NNP


NAINR. 2003;3(2) 

In This Article

Clinical Manifestations

The infant with gastroschisis typically presents with a small, underdeveloped abdominal cavity caused by evisceration of the intestines. Although the distal portions of the colon, liver, and other solid organs have the potential to protrude through the abdominal wall defect, these organs usually remain in the abdominal cavity.[19] Malrotation occurs almost universally because of the protrusion of the intestines outside the abdominal wall.[20] Exposure to amniotic fluid can cause the uncovered bowel to become inflamed, thickened, and edematous. The affected bowel can also appear as a matted mass with no identifiable loops. A peel over the serosal surface of the bowel can occur as a result of amniotic fluid exposure. This, in conjunction with a chemical peritonitis, may impede reduction of the intestine into the abdominal cavity.[4,19,21]


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