Nutritional support is a basic component of clinical management in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Aim The objective of this study is to evaluate the nutritional status of PICU patients, comparing the predicted energy expenditure (EE) by Harris-Benedict equation and the actually administered energy via enteral, parenteral or mixed nutrition.
Materials and Methods The files of 20 mechanically ventilated patients admitted to PICU, with length of stay>5 days, were studied retrospectively. Data collected included age, mean day of starting nutrition, route of feeding and mean day of reaching the highest caloric goal. At that day, energy predicted by Harris-Benedict equation was compared with the actually administered energy and the proportion of administered proteins, carbohydrates and fats as well as serum alboumin, glucose, C reactive protein and nitrogen balance were recorded.
Results Mean day of starting nutrition was 2.55±1.10 and mean day of reaching the highest caloric goal was 7.06±2.54. At that day, mean predicted EE was 49.5±26.46 Kcal/kgr/d, mean energy actually administered was 51.39±25.14 Kcal/kgr/d and mean protein intake 1.13±0.34gr/kgr. Most children (70%) received enteral nutrition and 62% were in negative nitrogen balance.
Conclusion Enteral feeding is the most preferable in PICU. Intolerance of feeding and various procedures were the main causes of delay reaching the caloric goal. Predicted and administered energy did not differed significantly. Despite the adequate caloric intake the nitrogen balance was mainly negative, due to catabolism and inadequate protein intake.
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