Rare Preemie Conditions

Necrotizing Enterocolitis

What is necrotizing enterocolitis? NEC is an inflammation that destroys part of the bowel. Premature infants are susceptible to NEC due to their immature and fragile bowels, which are subject to changes in blood flow and to infection.

Is NEC dangerous? Babies can lose some of their bowel as a result of NEC. There have been some deaths as a result of NEC. For this reason, doctors may start treatment on simply the suspicion that your baby might be developing symptoms. Most babies who recover from NEC do not have further problems.

How is NEC treated? When NEC is suspected, doctors stop regular feedings and feed the baby intravenously. Some babies are put on antibiotics as well. A tube can be placed in baby's stomach -- through his mouth or nose -- which can remove all air and water from the intestines and decrease pressure.

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