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 Introduction: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is, over all newborn surgical afflictions, the most deathly, representing the main GI problem in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and a medical/surgical emergency in which early diagnosis and opportune treatment may diminish surgical needs and mortality.

Objective: To describe the features of patients with NEC attended at a third-level hospital NICU in the city of Cali in 2006.

Method and materials: We conducted a pilot descriptive retrospective study that included 32 clinical records of newborns in the NICU (named CIRENA) from the Hospital Universitario del Valle (HUV) with NEC diagnosis. Finally, we made a descriptive analysis of the data by using the Epi-Info statistics program.

Results: In 2006, 1555 newborns were admitted to HUV-CIRENA and 32 (2%) of them were diagnosed with NEC, a percentage that is similar to that of other countries; half of which weighed less than 1500 grams and only three pregnant women had adequate prenatal care, 17(53.1%) of these newborns were female and 15(46.9%) were male.      

Conclusions: Although the majority of NEC cases occurs in premature and/or very low weight children, it is outstanding the number of full-term newborns, either on gestational age and weight, that developed early NEC. There is a visible relationship among low birth weight, prematurity, and the development of NEC, especially in the higher degrees of the disease, where the tendency is the presentation of late NEC.

Torres, J., Espinosa, L. L., García, Ángela M., Mideros, A. M., & Usubillaga, E. (2011). Characteristics of newborns with necrotizing enterocolitis in a third-level university hospital in Colombia. Colombia Medica, 42(4), 468–475.


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