NEC Awareness Day – May 17, 2020

Breastmilk is a complex mix of bioactive, cellular, and nutritional components that work together to protect and grow vulnerable infants in the NICU. Years of empirical research demonstrate incontrovertible proof that premature infants who receive maternal breastmilk develop fewer infections, have shorter hospital stays, and better long-term outcomes.

The biggest challenges premature infants face include Sepsis, Retinopathy of Prematurity, and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is a serious intestinal infection.

One case of medical NEC can cost a hospital up to $76,700, and with surgical intervention it can cost as much as $205,300.

As we prepare to honor NEC Awareness Day, Keriton is committed to supporting families, clinicians, and the community in combating this devastating disease. Below are just some of the important resources available for clinicians and families.

The NEC Society is a non-profit, 501c3 organization, made up of a diverse group of health care providers, researchers, and patient-families who are committed to building a world without NEC. Key resources can be found on the NEC SOCIETY home page.

More specifically for clinicians, the organization’s research collaborative is where you can learn about their work towards identification, treatment, and prevention of NEC.

One of the greatest proven interventions to prevent NEC is a human milk diet.

When feeding an exclusive human milk diet, recent research shows NEC rates dropping to as low as 1.1% compared with a rate of 11% with formula feeds.

There are numerous resources available in support of exclusive breastfeeding and human milk feeding. One such organization is HMBANA. HMBANA believes in a world where all infants have access to human milk through support of breastfeeding and use of donor human milk.

Not only is HMBANA dedicated to providing breastfeeding support and access to donor human milk, but also they are the gold standard for human milk quality and safety management procedures. In 2019, the Fourth Edition of Best Practice for Expressing, Storing and Handling Human Milk in Hospitals, Homes, and Child Care Settings was published. For this resource and others, click here.

Lastly, Prolacta Bioscience provides a wealth of research in the field of mortality and morbidity reduction through exclusive human milk diet feeding. Visit their clinical resource page to learn more.

Check out the #preventNEC and #NECday hashtags on your favorite social media platforms to discover education, patient-family stories, and events related to NEC Awareness Day 2020.