Neonatal abdominal X-rays: indications, procedure and interpretation

Nurs Child Young People. 2021 Jun 1. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1298. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Abdominal X-rays (AXRs) are one of the most common imaging modalities used to investigate suspected abdominal conditions in neonates. They are frequently requested for a variety of suspected conditions including necrotising enterocolitis, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, duodenal atresia and Hirschsprung's disease. Nurses play an important role in preparing and supporting neonates who are undergoing an AXR, and in some centres advanced neonatal nurse practitioners may be involved in requesting and interpreting AXRs as part of their enhanced role in patient management. It is therefore important that nurses understand the indications, procedure and interpretation for this imaging modality, as well as its limitations and potential long-term risks.

Keywords: X-rays; child health; clinical skills; diagnosis; diagnostic tests; gastrointestinal; gastrointestinal disorders; neonatal; nursing care; professional.