Intestinal Malrotation Awareness – Beth’s story

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For Intestinal Malrotation Awareness Week, Beth shares her experience of having a full term baby who was diagnosed with malrotation of the bowel.

On 18 April 2020, Remy came into the world blue and floppy. He was born at full term. A team worked on him and handed him to his Dad, Luke. He was pink, clean and bundled up. I came around from my general anaesthetic and we believed all the troubles were over.

Covid meant Luke had to leave the hospital so I got settled for a night on the ward with my new baby. He was textbook perfect. Weeing, passing meconium, a very chilled out little boy. Then in the middle of the night, he threw up some dark green vomit.

I was still very dozy from the drugs and had no idea what it meant. I spoke to a midwife who thankfully knew what it was and phoned a doctor in - her quick action might have just saved Remy’s life.

After a specialist barium swallow X-ray, Remy was diagnosed with malrotation of the bowel and required emergency surgery called a Ladd’s procedure. He spent time in Princess Anne NICU following his surgery and thankfully is now a happy and quirky, dinosaur mad, little three-year-old.

Symptoms of malrotation include: Abdominal tenderness or distention (swelling of the belly; nausea or vomiting; vomiting dark green fluid or green-stained material (also called bilious vomiting); bloody or dark red stool; constipation or difficulty expelling stools, shock.

15 - 21 January 2024 is Intestinal Malrotation Awareness Week. The UK is so behind in its research into malrotation and volvulus and it is often misdiagnosed. Volvulus is when there is a complete blockage and can be fatal. Everyone should be aware of the signs so they can act quickly - awareness is everything.

The cardinal sign of malrotation/volvulus is dark green vomit. Other signs include stomach distension, constipation, pain, frequent vomiting and yellow bile. Remy only displayed green vomit which meant that his bowel was already blocked, and he was dying.

We now spend time raising awareness and believe that all parents should be told about malrotation as soon as possible so they can spot the signs and we can save more lives.

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