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Authors

  1. Gephart, Sheila M. PhD, RN
  2. Martin, Laura B. MMEd
  3. Kijewski, Amy BSN, RN
  4. Johnson, Scott R.

Abstract

Although necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is often catastrophic among premature infants, most cases occur in the first month after birth. This case study presents Joseph's story about a 24-week surviving twin who developed severe NEC at 5 months of age just days before he was to go home. The purpose of this case study report is to place Joseph and his parents' experience in the context of what is known about NEC risk factors, clinical presentation, and treatment, and then to offer recommendations to healthcare professionals to support families from NEC diagnosis to recovery. Now 5 years old, Joseph continues to manage consequences of NEC including deafness, developmental delay, multiple food allergies, and recurrent gastrointestinal challenges from short gut syndrome. Although NEC struck late and kept Joseph in the neonatal intensive care unit for 228 days, its consequences remain with this resilient child and his family.