Background and Aims The aim of this study was to compare prescription and delivery of nutrition to predefined nutritional targets, and identify risk factors associated with inadequate nutritional intake.
Methods In 84 mechanically ventilated critically ill children with length of stay on the PICU of at least 3 days, we observed prescribed and delivered percentages of predefined targets for intake of calories and macronutrients during a 10-months study period. Factors associated with inadequate intake were identified.
Results On the third day of admission 92.9% of the patients received nutritional therapy. The caloric goal was reached on day 5, mainly supplied by fat and carbohydrates. Mean actual daily protein delivery was about 75% of the target during the entire study period. Use of catecholamines or neuromuscular blocking agents was a risk factor for caloric undernutrition, whereas there were no specific risk factors for overnutrition.
Conclusions Nutritional therapy should be started in the early phase of critical illness, including adequate supply of protein. In order to prevent deficits to accumulate, parenteral nutrition should be added in an early phase, if nutritional needs can not be met by enteral nutrition.