Necrotising enterocolitis and neonatal sepsis: A literature review

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 2018, 24 (2), pp. 80 - 85
Issue Date:
2018-04-01
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© 2017 Neonatal Nurses Association Necrotising Enterocolitis is a common infection and medical emergency effecting susceptible premature and low birth weight infants, cared for within Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). Characteristics of the disease include fever, abdominal distention, bilious vomits and aspirates, poor enteral feeding and blood present in stool. Without prompt management, the risk of ischemia and necrosis of the infant bowel is high, leading to the likely development of Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS). Medical management of the disease includes gut rest, intravenous antibiotic and fluid resuscitation if symptoms of hypovolaemic shock are present, with surgical interventions required when bowel necrosis becomes irreversible. Neonatal nurses have an important role in early detection of the disease among at risk infants, preventing extensive and life-long bowel damage occurring among these infants. However, due to the ongoing and chronic nature of the disease, the skills of paediatric nurses are required when the baby develops SBS after extensive surgery.
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