Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation (SIP) is an unexpected complication found among extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants. SIP poses an increased risk of morbidities and mortality in this high-risk population.
 
Estella Pina, M.D., an Envision Physician Services physician, postulates SIP may be triggered by the use of an umbilical arterial catheter. In a new study, Dr. Pina who is a board-certified staff neonatologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, will review the medical records of approximately 1,200 ELBW infants born at the hospital and examine multiple factors to determine whether a correlation exists.
 
It is believed SIP occurs through the localized thinning of infants’ intestinal walls, followed by increased susceptibility to ischemia, suboptimal intestinal wall integrity, perforation, gastrointestinal content spilling and subsequent inflammatory reaction, peritoneal and systemic contamination and inflammatory mediators. Interventions associated with ELBW infant care may predispose ELBW infants to SIP.
 
In her research, Dr. Pina will evaluate maternal and infant characteristics, management and clinical and short-term surgical outcomes associated with SIP. Examining UAC use and other identified factors may aid in determining avoidable risks and shape future treatment protocols, which Dr. Pina hopes could result in improved outcomes for ELBW infants.