Paul Johnson (Oxford Children's Hospital), Marian Knight (NPEU), Jenny Kurinczuk (NPEU)
Care of the preterm or low birthweight infant, Paediatric surgery
British Association of Paediatric Surgeons, National Institute for Health Research
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious intestinal inflammatory disease involving bacterial invasion and systemic infection that predominantly, although not exclusively, affects preterm neonates.
There are recent data from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD, UK), which suggest that there is delay in surgical intervention in approximately 9% of the cases highlighting the difficulties in decision making with respect to surgical intervention.
The report has recommended collection of data nationally to facilitate both medical and surgical management of NEC.
The Neonatal Data Analysis Unit is currently undertaking a national epidemiological study of NEC, using data from the National Neonatal Collaborative.
This study does not include specific information about infants undergoing surgery which would allow the issues raised by NCEPOD to be addressed.
The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons is well placed to undertake a UK national study through the already established BAPS- CASS system.
This study will investigate surgical management and one-year outcomes.