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NEC – Necrotising Enterocolitis

NEC is an inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that occurs 100 times more frequently in premature babies then term babies. NEC is thought to develop following bacterial injury to the gastrointestinal tract ranging from the stomach to the colon, appearing as a perforation.

This may be treated surgically via a peritoneal drain or a bowel resection, for formation of ostomies. Your baby may have a stoma (part of the bowel) showing, enabling the bowel to heal whilst still functioning and they may have to wear a colostomy bag for their hospital stay. Most babies will have the bowel closed before they are discharged, but in some cases they may need to come home with the colostomy. A Nurse will show you how to clean the colostomy bag out and affix a new one during your hospital stay.

If the bowel is closed and repaired, although there may be some level of scarring, your baby will be able to function their bowels normally.

The primary aim of PIPA is to provide practical and emotional support to the parents and families of premature infants. However we do not offer professional advice. We are parents of preterm baby’s and not medical staff. We do offer understanding, support, encouragement and friendship.

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