Date of Award
Dr.John Chovan, Dr.Sue Butz
Hirschsprung disease, treatment of enterocolitis, enterocolitis, pathophysiology of hirschsprung disease, rectal irrigation, nursing implications
Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
Hirschsprung disease (HD) occurs when there is an abnormal development in the enteric nervous system leading to ganglion cells being absent in the colon (Avansino & Levitt, 2017). HD presents as severe abdominal distention, failure to pass a meconium stool within the first 48 hours of life, difficulty feeding, bilious vomiting in the newborn period, and as prolonged severe constipation in the older child (Avansino & Levitt, 2017). Undiagnosed HD can lead to a life-threatening condition called enterocolitis. Enterocolitis presentation varies per individual with the most common symptoms, including abdominal distention, foul-smelling explosive stools, loud rumbling noises coming from the abdomen, and fever (Langer et al., 2017). The cause of Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC) is unknown (Gosain et al., 2017), but a goblet cell dysfunction may result in intestinal barrier dysfunction contributing to HAEC (Nakamura et al., 2018). HAEC is challenging to diagnose due to non-specific symptoms and is underreported (Gosain et al., 2017). Proper preventative measures and treatment for those presenting with symptoms of enterocolitis are needed to decrease the risk of developing severe HAEC.
Shann, Erin, "Hirschsprung-Associated Enterocolitis" (2019). Nursing Student Class Projects (Formerly MSN). 364.