Background Adequate nutrition of ELBW infants is difficult to achieve, yet crucial for their survival and neurodevelopment. Awareness of the problem and consistency in the care provided is a neccesary step for improving outcome.
Aim To evaluate the impact of recently instituted nutritional guidelines in ELBW in our NICU.
Methods Our NICU instituted nutritional guidelines in July 2008 after exhaustive review and discussion of best available evidence. Recommendations included early introduction of trophic enteral feeding (TF), timing and rate for advancing enteral feeds and criteria for its discontinuation, among others. We performed a retrospective review of charts in all ELBW admitted between January 2007 and December 2010. Demographic information, time to introduction of TF, age at which feedings were advanced and full feed were achieved, days on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) and days of Percutaneously Inserted Central Catheters (PICC), growth parameters and outcome were analyzed and compared for ELBW population before (Period 1) and after (Period 2) the institution of nutritional guidelines.
Conclusions The institution of nutritional guidelines resulted in significant improvement in nutritional indicators in our population.