Necrotizing Enterocolitis: Can Be A Dangerous Sign of Your Newborn

Somya Verma

, Health A2Z


It is always desired that a newborn baby is in good health and away from all the possible infections and conditions. It is though unfortunate that cases of premature babies lead to the newborn suffering from difficult health issues like Necrotizing Enterocolitis. While doctors still have no explanation about why it occurs mostly in premature babies, the fact that underdevelopment of organs does add to the complexity of the condition.


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Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a condition where the intestines of premature babies are inflamed. The condition occurs in babies within 2 weeks when they are fed formula instead of breast milk.  These formulas sometimes contain the bacteria that enters the intestine, inflames the walls of the intestine in the premature babies.


The premature babies that weigh less than 3.25 lbs are most likely to suffer from Necrotizing Enterocolitis. However, there others as well who can face it at the time of birth. Those who are vulnerable to the conditions include:


• High-risk in the premature babies who are fed formula by mouth.


Those who had difficulties while in the delivery process.


• Infants who have high red blood cells circulating in the body.


• Babies with existing gastrointestinal infections


• Seriously ill infants and those who’ve received a blood transfusion


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Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis differ from one child to the other. It depends on what is the cause of the condition and why is the infant suffering from it. As per the observations, there are some common grounds that show how premature babies are suffering from this serious problem, the symptoms are:


• Swollen or bloated belly


• Feedings that stay in the stomach and don’t move through the intestines


• Green fluid in the stomach


• Bloody poop


• Trouble breathing, low heart rate, or sluggishness


There can be confusion between the above-mentioned symptoms as it is also common with the regular digestive problems that a child can go through. It is but recommended that one should consult a doctor if the condition prevails for a longer period of time. The doctor usually takes an X-ray to see the complexity of Necrotizing Enterocolitis.


Doctors take various steps and treatment procedures to make sure that the infection is reduced and eliminated. This includes stopping feeds, trying to keep the child’s stomach empty, putting anti-biotic to remove the infection, and infuse fluid for the nourishment of the child. After the infection is gone which can take 5-7 days, the child can be fed through the mouth. In worse cases, a surgery to remove the dead tissues is suggested by doctors.


It is important to understand that even if the condition is cured, in the future it might serve as a problem. As of now the treatment to fully cure or prevent Necrotizing Enterocolitis, it has been noticed that because of the lack of efficiency of the digestive system, future blockage does take place in the body that has suffered from Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Yet, there is always some saving grace, it has been noticed that those kids who are provided breast milk are less likely to face the disease. The researchers are working towards the remedies, and in the meanwhile, one can make sure that all the preventions and precautions are taken in case of the condition. We would suggest that in case you see symptoms in your child, do consult the doctors as soon as possible.



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