Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a deadly illness that only impacts new born babies. With a mortality rate as high as 50%, it is important to spread awareness of this condition and educate potential parents as well as survivors that aren’t very familiar with NEC. That is why this Friday, May 17th, 2024, is important.

NEC is a condition caused by inflammation in an infant’s intestines leading to bacterial invasion that can cause cell damage and cell death ending with necrosis of the intestines. It is highly dangerous, and can lead to intestinal perforation causing peritonitis, sepsis, and even death.

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It typically happens in the second to third week of life, and things like prematurity, low birth weight, and formula feeding have been identified as primary risks.

Nearly 70% of NEC cases happen in premature infants born before 36 weeks gestation. It affects 2% to 5% of all preemies and is responsible for nearly 8% of all NICU admissions. Although it primarily occurs in these preemies, there are cases documented in full-term infants.

There are various methods for treating the condition, and you can read up more about them here.

For those that survive NEC, common complications include short bowel syndrome, intestinal failure, nutritional deficiencies, and associated defects in growth and development.

I am passionate about this illness because my fiancé, who was born around three months prematurely, had NEC. Fortunately, he survived after they performed surgery to remove the dying small intestine, but he has developed other complications throughout his life because of NEC and the operation.

I've seen how this illness impacts someone's life and I empathize with everyone else that has been effected by NEC.

So, I ask you to please take the time this Friday, May 17th, 2024, aka Necrotizing Enterocolitis Awareness Day, to share information about this illness and increase awareness over such a devastating disease.

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