What Is (NEC) Necrotizing EnteroColitis

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gastrointestinal problem that mostly affects premature babies. The condition inflames intestinal tissue, causing it to die. A hole (perforation) may form in your baby's intestine. Bacteria can leak into the abdomen (belly) or bloodstream through the hole.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

Premature babies are at risk for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The condition causes intestinal tissue to die. It can also cause a hole in the intestine. Bacteria can leak through this hole, causing serious abdominal infections. Switching to IV feedings can help. Some infants need surgery to remove the damaged intestine.

What is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gastrointestinal problem that mostly affects premature babies. The condition inflames intestinal tissue, causing it to die.

A hole (perforation) may form in your baby's intestine. Bacteria can leak into the abdomen (belly) or bloodstream through the hole. NEC usually develops within two to six weeks after birth.

In some infants, NEC is mild. Others experience severe, life-threatening symptoms. You pronounce the condition nek-ruh-TIZE-ing en-ter-o-ko-LIE-tis.

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