Background and Aim Providing adequate caloric amount to critically ill children is challenging. The aim of the study is to describe the nutritional support of patients in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and evaluate our current practice.
Material and Methods Prospective evaluation of the nutritional support of 126 critically ill children hospitalized for ≥48 hours in PICU at University Hospital Centre over the period October 2011–March 2012. The amount of calories delivered were evaluated and compared with the theoretical energy requirements.
Results Mean caloric intake on the first day was 59% (SD±46.4) and on the second day was 64.3% (SD±47.4) of daily requirements. 72(57.1%) patients received ≥80% of required daily calories, without a significant difference with patients who received <80% of daily calories, (p=0.3).
The overall mortality rate was 28.5%. Patients who received <80% of daily caloric needs were 4 times more likely to have a fatal outcome, compared to those who received ≥80% of daily caloric needs [OR=4.0 95% CI (1.2–12.7) p=0.01].
Daily caloric intake of ≥80% resulted a protective factor against death in the Cox proportional-hazard regression model (b= –1.1, p=0.02).
Conclusions We have to increase the number of patients who receive ≥80% of daily caloric requirements and provide appropriate nutritional support during the first days of admission. Mortality rate remains high, due to the large number of patients receiving <80% of needed calories.