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Diarrhoea in new born

Dr. Ankur
Sept. 29, 2010

Even with ever rising facilities in the field of infant care there are a few aspects which still stand despite of improvisations and newer strategies. Diarrhoea is one name that is very much prevalent and surely anchors strong in existence. Here the trick lies to analyse on the condition; the frequent passage of stools in the new born is common and not a bother to ponder. But when it extends vast and shows up in a debilitated sunken face revealing a drain then sure it is a matter to be investigated and brainstormed. 

The causes of diarrhoea in newborn are broadly classified under two heads namely: infective and dietary ones. Infective as the name suggests result as a form of a gastrointestinal infection from either specific or non specific organisms such as E.coli, staphylococcus, viral in origin.  

How the infected baby presents?

Diarrhoea here is manifested in form of frequent watery stools that are generally green in colour often accompanied with mucus and blood. The condition is common in babies who are not breast fed and have to rely on the artificial means. The immature system in order to stabilise often presents in loose stools also possibility of faulty utensils can’t be sidelined completely. In general along with watery stools the baby presents with screaming, sunken eyes and weight loss as well.

Dietary diarrhoea can arise with either quality or quantity issues. Quality is like excess of fat intake, carbohydrate intake or else protein intake that result in characteristic diarrhoea with pale, frothy and bloody stools respectively. Quantitative ones can be with both over or under feeding. Sometimes a mother thinking the child hungry feeds every now and then that may result in diarrhoea as the frequent feeds irritate gut and trigger diarrhoea. Stools here are bulky with no mucus and can be easily controlled with wise action. Under feeding results in hunger diarrhoea characterised with the passage of small green stools.

How to proceed?

Once an infant has diarrhoea it is of utmost importance to judge on the cause as then only appropriate interventions can be taken.

In case of infective variety the baby should be isolated and tests should be conducted to reveal the causative agents. Further with the test results corresponding antibiotics are to be administered.    

In milder cases one should progress with the stoppage of milk feeding. Later ORS i.e. oral rehydration solutions are to be initiated. This solution is to be flexibly used within the feeds. The total fluid intake should be at least 200ml per kg of weight distributed wisely at an interval of 2 to 3 hours within the day. Once the diarrhoea is controlled breast feeding can be resumed.

In cases of severe diarrhoea, signs of dehydration are prominent and need immediate attention. Hospitalisation for glucose drips may become essential to combat. Further with a little restoration oral rehydration should be started under expert hands. Also in the later phase a paediatrician should be constant touch to curtail any sort of revert or complications.

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