NEC, necrotizing enterocolitis, neonate, premature, surgical



  1. Yeo, Stacey L. MSN, RNC


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease process that is frequently seen in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and in preterm newborns. The pathophysiology of NEC is a detailed multifactorial theory that will not be thoroughly discussed in this article. The key risk factors leading to NEC are prematurity, formula feeding, intestinal ischemia, and bacterial colonization. Current research regarding feeding practices, surgical techniques, bowel transplantation, and use of probiotics is presented to update NICU nurses on the state of the science of care for the newborn with NEC. Caring for the sick neonate involves holistic family care. Listening to and supporting parents through the stressful stay in the NICU can empower them to be better prepared and educated to take their newborns home.