Pharmacologic Highlights

Medication or

Drug Class Dosage Description


Antibiotics Varies with drug Broad-spectrum

To prevent peritonitis or postoperative infection

Other: Patient-controlled analgesia in adults


Because intussusception occurs in otherwise healthy infants and is an emergency situation, the nurse's role is to provide comfort for the child and the parents, provide explanations to the parents, and evaluate the success of the treatment. Because the child appears normal between attacks, you may sometimes have difficulty convincing parents of the potential severity of the condition. Make sure that you explain the condition carefully. Early intervention is crucial to prevent complications. When you suspect intussusception, carefully elicit information from the parents about the progression of the symptoms and the type, location, and duration of pain. Comfort measures are needed for the child both before and after surgery, but do not mask abdominal pain with analgesia until the firm diagnosis is made.

If the child has surgery, check the incision for signs of infection (swelling, drainage, separation) or bleeding. Splint the wound with pillows, and encourage coughing and deep breathing. If the child is old enough to follow directions, encourage deep breathing every hour. Elicit the parents' help in maintaining good pulmonary function after surgery.

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