Background: Enteral feeding is challenging in critically ill infants. Target intakes are often not achieved as a result of fluid restriction, procedural interruptions and perceived enteral feeding intolerance. In those infants perceived to have poor feeding tolerance, the use of a peptide nutrient-energy dense enteral feed (PEF) may improve nutritional intake and minimise feeding interruptions as a result of gastrointestinal symptoms. The aim of this observational study was to characterise the use of a PEF amongst critically ill infants in two paediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Methods: Records from critically ill infants aged <12 months admitted to two PICUs were retrospectively reviewed with a PICU length of stay (LOS) ≥ 7 days. Achievement of nutritional targets for the duration of PEF was reviewed. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including gastric residual volume, constipation and vomiting, were evaluated as tolerance parameters. Results: In total, 53 infants were included, with a median age on admission of 2.6 months. Median admission weight was 3.9 kg in PICU-1 and 4.7 kg in PICU-2. Median (interquatile range) energy intake in PICU-1 and PICU2 was 68 (47–92) and 90 (63–124) kcal kg1 , respectively, and median (interquatile range) protein intake 1.7 (1.1–2.4) g kg1 and 2.5 (1.6–3.2) g kg1 , respectively. Feeding was withheld because of feeding intolerance in one infant (4%) on two occasions in PICU-1 for 2.5 h and in two infants (7%) on two occasions in PICU-2 for 19.5 h. Gastric residual mean (SD) volumes were 3.5 (5.4) mL kg1 in PICU-1 and 16.9 (15.6) mL kg1 in PICU-2. Conclusions: Peptide nutrient-energy dense feeding in infants admitted to the PICU is feasible, well tolerated and nutritional targets are met. However, with this study design, it is not possible to draw any conclusions regarding the benefit of PEF over standard PE feed in critically ill children and future work is required to clarify this further.

Additional Metadata
Keywords critical illness, hydrolysed enteral feeds, infants, semi-elemental.
Persistent URL,
Journal Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Marino, L.V., Eveleens, R.D, Morton, K., Verbruggen, S.C.A.T, & Joosten, K.F.M. (2019). Peptide nutrient-energy dense enteral feeding in critically ill infants: an observational study. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 32(3), 400–408. doi:10.1111/jhn.12645