Necrotizing Enterocolitis and the Use of Thickened Liquids for Infants With Dysphagia Necrotizing enterocolotis (NEC) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in infants that are born prematurely. The exact cause of NEC is not known. Clinical correlations between the use of thickened fluids and the development of NEC have been established. Thickened fluids are commonly used for the treatment of ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2015
Necrotizing Enterocolitis and the Use of Thickened Liquids for Infants With Dysphagia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Memorie M. Gosa
    Department of Communicative Disorders, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Mark R. Corkins
    Pediatric Gastroenterology, LeBonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN
    Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
  • Financial Disclosure: Memorie M. Gosa is an assistant professor at The University of Alabama. Mark R. Corkins is division chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology at LeBonheur Children's Hospital, professor of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and has a financial relationship with Nestle as he serves on a study DMSB and has served on the speaker's bureau.
    Financial Disclosure: Memorie M. Gosa is an assistant professor at The University of Alabama. Mark R. Corkins is division chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology at LeBonheur Children's Hospital, professor of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and has a financial relationship with Nestle as he serves on a study DMSB and has served on the speaker's bureau.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Memorie M. Gosa has previously published in the subject area. Mark R. Corkins has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Memorie M. Gosa has previously published in the subject area. Mark R. Corkins has previously published in the subject area.×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2015
Necrotizing Enterocolitis and the Use of Thickened Liquids for Infants With Dysphagia
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), April 2015, Vol. 24, 44-49. doi:10.1044/sasd24.2.44
History: Received December 15, 2014 , Accepted January 30, 2015
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), April 2015, Vol. 24, 44-49. doi:10.1044/sasd24.2.44
History: Received December 15, 2014; Accepted January 30, 2015

Necrotizing enterocolotis (NEC) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in infants that are born prematurely. The exact cause of NEC is not known. Clinical correlations between the use of thickened fluids and the development of NEC have been established. Thickened fluids are commonly used for the treatment of symptoms from both dysphagia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in fragile infant populations. Despite its frequent recommendation, there is little empirical evidence to support the use of thickened fluids in pediatric populations for the treatment of dysphagia or GERD. There is emerging evidence to support the use of slower flowing bottle/nipple systems and side lying feeding position to support safe oral intake in infant populations. Speech-language pathologists who work in neonatal intensive care units and who work with other fragile infant populations must be aware of the risks associated with the use of thickened fluids in these populations and be prepared to provide alternative treatment options as appropriate.

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