failure to thrive n.
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Failure to Thrive

Failure to Thrive

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Failure to Thrive

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  1. Failure to Thrive

  2. Most often applied to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below that of other children of similar age and sex • Also used to describe the elderly who begin to decline for no apparent reason

  3. Geriatric Failure to Thrive • Often described as they have just given up or lost the will to live • Typically show signs such as weight loss, decreased appetite, poor nutrition, and inactivity • Even though they have a noticeable change in condition the people who see them everyday may not notice it

  4. Treatment • Comprehensive initial assessment that includes evaluation of physical and psychological health, functional ability, social and environmental factors • Doctor will look at any existing chronic medical problems and look for any recent changes • Look for simple problems, such as URI, UTI

  5. Treatment cont. • Look at emotional state and well being • Develop a plan of action that may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutritional supplements, new meds, or just tweaking their meds. • Finding the root cause of failure to thrive may not be possible. Doctors do their best to treat the symptoms

  6. Babies with Failure to Thrive • Causes of failure to thrive • Poverty • Nutritional deficiency • Chromosomal abnormalities • Defects in major organ systems • Hormone deficiency • Damage to the brain or CNS • Heart and lung problems

  7. Causes con. • GI problems • Cerebral palsy • Long term infections • Metabolic disorders • Complications of pregnancy and low birth weight • Psychological problems

  8. Diagnosing • Physical exam • Feeding observation • Lab testing- CBC, U/A, BMP • Home visits • Growth charts • Focus on identifying the underlying problem

  9. Causes con. • Failure to thrive can be a form of child neglect • Several risk factors that should alert doctors • Parental depression, stress marital strife, and divorce • Mental retardation and psychological abnormalities in the parent

  10. Risk factors cont. • Young and single mothers without social supports • Social isolation and or poverty • Intentional withholding of food from the child • Strong beliefs in health and or nutrition regimens that jeopardize a child’s wellbeing

  11. Family that is resistant to recommended interventions despite multidisciplinary team approach

  12. Signs of Failure to Thrive • Lack of appropriate weight gain • Irritability • Easily fatigued • Excessive sleepiness • Lack of age appropriate social response • Avoids eye contact • Lack of molding to mother’s body • Delayed motor development

  13. Treatment • Correct any physical, psychological, and emotional problems • Repeated check-ups • Multidisciplinary care-doctor, social worker, nutritionist, physical therapy, occupational therapy • Hospitalization • Tube feeding if necessary

  14. Therapy • Possible parenting classes

  15. A new born was admitted with features of desquamating skin lesions, loss of weight gain and failure to thrive. the clinical photograph shows extensive weepy lesions throughout the body diagnostic of lamellar icthyosis. it is a autosomal recessive disorder.

  16. References • Early, E. (October 26, 2004). Failure to Thrive in Older Adults. Healthlink Medical College of Wisconsin, Retrieved August 8, 2008, from • Homeier, B. (April, 2005). Kids Health for Parents. Retrieved August 8, 2008, from • (2008). Failure to Thrive. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Retrieved August 8, 2008, from • (August 16, 2006). Failure to Thrive. University of Maryland Medical Center, Retrieved August 8, 2008, from • (January 27, 2008). Failure to Thrive as Manifestation of Child Neglect. National Guideline Clearinghouse, Retrieved August 8, 2008, from

  17. Questions for Failure to ThriveLisa Bush 8-27-08 • What is Failure to Thrive? A. Friends getting together for a party B. Learning to drive a car C. Quitting your job D. Current weight or rate of weight gain is far below other children of the same age and sex 2. Failure to Thrive can be considered what? A. a good thing B. child neglect C. a reason to celebrate D. a dx made by doctors that have no business being doctors 3. What is a sign of Geriatric Failure to Thrive? A. wonderful appetite B. normal lab results C. weight loss D. steady gait