Necrotizing Enterocolitis Overview
What is necrotizing enterocolitis?
An infant with necrotizing enterocolitis has a condition where the intestinal wall lining dies and the tissue falls off. This condition most often affects newborns that are sick or premature. Necrotizing enterocolitis develops in about one out of ten infants who are born with a weight below 1,500 grams. Although most common in premature infants, it can occasionally be seen in term and near-term infants. The underlying cause for this condition remains unknown.
What are the symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis?
The symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis include the slow or sudden onset of blood in the stool, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal distension and a fluctuating temperature.
How does the doctor treat necrotizing enterocolitis?
The treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis includes stopping feedings to insert a small tube in the stomach of the infant to relieve gas from the bowel. Antibiotic medications are then started to fight any infection that may arise. Surgery may be needed if there is a hole in the intestines.
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