3 Intussusception Nursing Care Plans


Intussusception is a telescoping of one portion of the bowel into another portion which results in obstruction to the passage of the intestinal contents and inflammation and impaired blood flow to the parts of the intestinal walls that are pressing against one another. If not treated, tissue necrosis, intestinal perforation, and peritonitis may occur. The symptoms of intussusception include colicky abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and blood or mucus in the stools (sometimes referred to as “currant jelly” stool).

It is most commonly occur in infants ages 3 to 12 months or in children 12 to 24 months of age. The cause of intussusception is unknown but children with Meckel’s diverticulum, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, diarrhea, or constipation increases the likelihood of incurring this condition. Surgical correction is done if the obstruction of the involved segment does not resolve through manual reduction or by hydrostatic pressure or if bowel becomes necrotic.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning goals of a child with intussusception revolve toward providing appropriate information about the child’s condition, restoring fluid volume and preventing dehydration, and observing resolution or improvement (relief of abdominal pain, return of normal bowel sounds).

Here are three (3) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for intussusception:

  1. Deficient Fluid Volume
  2. Deficient Knowledge
  3. Risk for Injury

Deficient Knowledge

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Lack of information about condition

Possibly evidenced by

  • Request for information about causes of condition, postoperative or postprocedural care

Desired Outcomes

  • Parents verbalize understanding of intussusception, the need for a barium enema, and possibility of surgical intervention.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess parent’s knowledge of the condition, signs and symptoms, therapeutic regimen following procedures.Promotes the development of an effective plan of instruction.
Offer parents with clear and brief information; May utilize teaching aids and encourage questions.Ensures understanding of care needs based on ability to learn.
Teach parents of signs and symptoms
of infection in the incision area and demonstrate and allow for return demonstration of dressing change.
Raises awareness of signs and symptoms of wound infection to facilitate an immediate intervention.
Instruct parents to monitor any blood in stool, change in stool characteristics or diarrhea or constipation or absence of stools.Reveals gastrointestinal bleeding and possible recurrence or chronicity of condition.
Instruct parents about preparation procedures for reduction by barium enema or surgery and antibiotic and postoperative care given to the child.Provides information regarding care to expect during hospitalization.
Teach parents that a nothing-per-orem (NPO) status will be ordered initially
and will be offered clear fluids and slowly progress to usual diet once advised.
Prevents vomiting or abdominal distention until condition resolved.
Educate parents about activity restrictions.Allows condition and/or wound to heal and resolve itself without complications.
Inform parents that bowel elimination of brown stools indicate that condition has been improved.Provides parents with baseline expected with successful resolution of the problem.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans for pediatric conditions and diseases:

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.