Children with serious intestinal problems have to be fed intravenously. There moreover, exist systems that enable intravenous feeding to be carried out at home. Mr Iaki Irastorza, paediatrician at the Cruces hospital in Bilbao, spent some 15 years analysing how serious intestinal problems in children were treated at the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London. With the gathered data he has presented a highly novel PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country.
No work is known in the literature to date which provides a long-term and generalised evaluation of the health of children fed intravenously in their own home. There have been, for example, articles that have made mention of a concrete case of a child who had received such treatment and had suffered a pulmonary thromboembolism but there has not been any work investigating the relationship between the treatment and this illness. These are some of the basic tenets of the PhD thesis of Mr Irastorza, entitled Domiciliary parenteral nutrition at paediatric age: long-term prognostic factors.
Warfarin appears to combat sudden death
Some children have to be fed intravenously, given that they have intestinal problems that impede digestion. These problems can be of three kinds: having undergone an operation for a birth malformation and thus having an intestine that is too small (the most common case); or the intestine is incapable of absorbing foods; or the intestine does not move suitably in digestion. Mr Irastorza investigated 64 children who, due to having one of these three problems, were being fed at home intravenously. 39% of these developed pulmonary thromboembolism, confirming that there exists a relation between this problem and the treatment.
Mr Irastorza also confirmed that warfarin, and anticoagulants in general, are effective in avoiding sudden death caused by thromboembolism. The 64 children were tested for thromboembolism on initiating
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