How is lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in neonates treated?

Updated: Dec 19, 2018
  • Author: Wayne Wolfram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Robert K Minkes, MD, PhD  more...
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For neonates with NEC, the standard treatment is aggressive medical resuscitation with bowel rest, antibiotics, total parenteral nutritional, and nasogastric decompression.

Nonoperative management of NEC yields a 70-80% recovery rate, but urgent laparotomy or drain placement is required in neonates in whom conservative therapy is unsuccessful owing to progressive sepsis, bowel perforation, or persistent bleeding. Recurrent bleeding in a baby who has recovered from NEC may indicate a second occurrence of the disease or an enterocolitis stricture.

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