Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Necrotizing enterocolitis is an infection and inflammation of a newborn's intestine. It can be mild or severe, leading to bowel obstruction and tissue
Symptoms in a newborn may include a swollen or tender belly, poor
appetite or throwing up, constipation, and dark,
black, or bloody stools. A newborn may also have a low or unstable body
temperature and not be very active or energetic.
Necrotizing enterocolitis is believed to result from a combination
of factors, including premature birth and immature immune and digestive
This condition requires treatment in the
hospital. The newborn is fed intravenously to allow time for the intestines to
heal. And antibiotics are used to prevent or treat infection. Surgery is
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kimberly Dow, MD, FRCPC - Neonatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.