The causes of small bowel obstruction in children are most often volvulus, intussusception, adhesions, or abdominal hernia, a weakness in the abdominal wall that traps a portion of intestine.
Some children with intussusception may appear lethargic or have altered mental status, believed by physicians to be related to ischemia of the bowel and a decreased level of consciousness.
Intussusception commonly follows an infection that causes increased lymph node size in the gut, which acts as the point of folding for the intussusception.
One type of mechanical obstruction is caused by the bowel twisting on itself (volvulus) or telescoping into itself (intussusception).
Recurrences in infants with intussusception are most likely to happen during the first 36 hours after the blockage has been cleared.
The growth of an organic being is simply a process of enlargement, as a particle of dry gelatine may be swelled up by the intussusception of water; its death is a shrinkage, such as the swelled jelly might undergo on desiccation.
These layers arc secreted by the protoplasm by the direct apposition of substances on those already in existence; and they may go on increasing in thickness, both by apposition and by the intussusception of particles probably carried in through the protoplasmic fibres, which penetrate the cell-wall as long as the cell lives.
Its universal disintegration and waste by oxidation; and its concomitant reintegration by the intussusception of new matter.
But the increase of size which constitutes growth is the result of a process of molecular intussusception, and therefore differs altogether from the process of growth by accretion, which may be observed in crystals and is effected purely by the external addition of new matter - so that, in the well-known aphorism of Linnaeus, the word "grow" as applied to stones signifies a totally different process from what is called "growth" in plants and animals.
- Diagram to show how an Intussusception takes place.