How is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) treated?

Treatment of NEC is dependent on many things including the baby’s age and overall health, his/her tolerance for specific medications, and the extent of the disease.

Some of the steps taken for treating NEC may include:

  • Antibiotics to fight the infection
  • Checking bowel movements
  • Stopping regular feedings by mouth and instead being fed through an IV
  • Regular x-rays to monitor the progress of NEC
  • A tube placed in the stomach either through the nose or the mouth; the tube removes air and fluid from the baby's stomach and intestine
  • Regular blood work to monitor for infection
  • Possible breathing support (depends on severity)

In severe cases of NEC, surgery may be required to remove the diseased part of the intestine.

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