Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Premature infants who are very low birth weight have a high mortality rate; one of the primary causes of death in infants transpires from a gastrointestinal complication, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Currently there are no specialized assessment tools to determine the risk of development of NEC in neonates. The purpose of this thesis is to identify assessment protocol and prevention methods needed to increase the survival rate of babies less than 1500 grams (g). A small sample of surveys was completed by NICU nurses. The surveys were analyzed and current literature was reviewed to develop a tool by identifying risk factors strongly associated with the development of NEC. This tool needs further research, such as a pilot study and assessment of data regarding a case of NEC which could be gathered prospectively or retrospectively to determine this tool’s effectiveness.

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