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Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil

Print version ISSN 1519-3829


BRAGA, Taciana Duque; SILVA, Giselia Alves Pontes da; LIRA, Pedro Israel Carvalho  and  LIMA, Marília de Carvalho. Necrotizing enterocolitis in very low weight newborns at a high risk neonatal unit in the Northeast region of Brazil (2003-2007). Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2012, vol.12, n.2, pp.127-133. ISSN 1519-3829.

OBJECTIVES: to assess the incidence of nectrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), between 2003 and 2007, in children born with a very low weight and to describe the care provided for these newborns. METHODS: a retrospective longitudinal study was carried out at a high-risk neonatal unit with a sample of 1028 newborns with very low birth weight, excluding those weighing less than 750 g. The frequency of NEC was assessed for the first to thirtieth day of life, or until the disease appeared or the child died, considering the first occurrence in a period of five years. NEC was defined according to Bell's criterion (stage ≥2). The chi-squared test was used to assess the behavior of the category variables over the five years. RESULTS: NEC occurred in 55 of the 1028 newborns (5.3%). The highest incidence was found in the year 2005 (19/204) and there was a significant decrease in 2007 (8/195), although this variation could not be considered a trend (p=0.45). A significant increase was found in the use of antibiotics, parenteral feeding, antenatal corticoid and the consumption of mother's milk, along with a decrease in the mean gestational age of 2.4 weeks between 2003 and 2007. CONCLUSIONS: the incidence of NEC varied, showing no tendency to increase or decrease. There was an increase in antenatal corticosteroids coverage, breast milk intake and a reduction in the use of formula. Further studies are needed to provide a better evaluation of these measures in the non-progression of incidence of NEC, even though this is a population that is highly at risk from the contracting the disease.

Keywords : Necrotizing enterocolitis; Infant; very low birth weight.

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