During development, the gastrointestinal tract first develops into a tube that later canalizes. Failure of this process during any stage may result in intestinal atresia, which can affect any section of the bowel and can have varying degrees of severity.

Clinical Features

For an upper GIT lesion, bilious vomiting will be the main form of presentation with abdominal distension secondary to gaseous distension. Failure to pass meconium may occur for lower level lesions


  1. Plain radiograph to confirm fluid levels.
  2. A thorough check for other anomalies will need to be made.

Management at Level 4 to 5

  1. Initiate resuscitation measures with intravenous lines, nasogastric suction and fluid charts. Correct any fluid and electrolyte imbalance present.
  2. Carry out whatever radiological investigation is possible in the facility.
  3. Refer immediately to a level 6 facility for specialized surgical management.

Management at Level 6 Facility

  1. Resuscitation and stabilization
  2. Completion of investigations as needed.
  3. Surgical interventions.


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