ORLANDO, Fla. -- It happens in the womb: usually around the tenth week of pregnancy. The baby's intestines do not form correctly in the abdomen and then fail to coil in the proper position. If the condition is not recognized early, the damage can be devastating. Details on how parents can spot the signs early on.
Kareem Abu-Elmagd, MD , Cleveland Clinic says, "It's about one of two hundred to five hundred kids are born with the malrotation."
Some children don't have any symptoms until they become adults. But for the kids who do have symptoms, it's critical to get them help right away.
Dr. Abu-Elmagd continued, "The intestine is an unforgivable organ and if you cut out the blood supply it's very, very, very rare to untwist it before it's already dead."
Then a transplant is needed or in some cases the children can die. However, there are signs parents can look for before the condition worsens.
"They develop nausea, vomiting, or severe abdominal pain," explained Dr. Abu-Elmagd.
Some other symptoms: constipation alternating with diarrhea, little or no urine, blood in the stool, and your child may cry while pulling their legs up and then suddenly stop crying. Spotting these signs quickly can not only save your baby's intestine, but also their life.
About 60 percent of these cases are diagnosed within the first week of life. The condition also occurs equally in girls and boys. However, boys are more likely than girls to show symptoms in the first month of life.