Enteral nutrition and cardiovascular medications in the pediatric intensive care unit

Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.15). 09/2004; 28(5):334-8. DOI: 10.1177/0148607104028005334
Source: PubMed


Enteral nutrition has multiple benefits for critically ill patients. However, the administration of enteral nutrition to patients requiring medications for cardiovascular support is controversial secondary to concerns of altered splanchnic perfusion. The objective of this study is to evaluate the tolerance of enteral nutrition in pediatric patients receiving cardiovascular medications.
This was a retrospective chart review of patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston in a 1-year period. Patients were eligible for the study if they received enteral nutrition during or within 24 hours of requiring continuous infusion of dopamine, dobutamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, or neosynephrine.
Fifty-five admissions (52 patients) met study criteria. Patients ranged in age from 1 month to 20 years old. Although a large number (71%) of patients experienced at least 1 feeding interruption, the majority (70%) of reasons cited for stopping or slowing feedings were not related to gastrointestinal (GI) tolerance. Only 29% of patients had feedings held for perceived intolerance. Vomiting was the most often-cited reason for these interruptions. Constipation was reported in 36% of patients but cited only 4 times as a reason for feeding interruption. Four patients exhibited evidence of GI bleeding. This bleeding was considered clinically insignificant in 2 patients and appeared unrelated to enteral feedings in the others.
This study suggests that many pediatric patients receiving cardiovascular medications tolerate enteral nutrition without adverse events. Further prospective studies are needed to determine whether enteral nutrition can consistently benefit these critically ill pediatric patients.

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    • "However, if adrenaline and dopamine increase cardiac output, splanchnic perfusion could be improved. King et al, in a retrospective study on 55 critically ill children who received inotropic drugs, found that many patients tolerate enteral nutrition well [22]. Our experience supports this finding [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tolerance to enteral nutrition in the critically ill child with shock has not been studied. The purpose of the study was to analyze the characteristics of enteral nutrition and its tolerance in the critically ill child with shock and to compare this with non-shocked patients. A prospective, observational study was performed including critically ill children with shock who received postpyloric enteral nutrition (PEN). The type of nutrition used, its duration, tolerance, and gastrointestinal complications were assessed. The 65 children with shock who received PEN were compared with 461 non-shocked critically ill children who received PEN. Sixty-five critically ill children with shock, aged between 21 days and 22 years, received PEN. 75.4% of patients with shock received PEN exclusively. The mean duration of the PEN was 25.2 days and the maximum calorie intake was 79.4 kcal/kg/day. Twenty patients with shock (30.7%) presented gastrointestinal complications, 10 (15.4%) abdominal distension and/or excessive gastric residue, 13 (20%) diarrhoea, 1 necrotising enterocolitis, and 1 duodenal perforation due to the postpyloric tube. The frequency of gastrointestinal complications was significantly higher than in the other 461 critically ill children (9.1%). PEN was suspended due to gastrointestinal complications in 6 patients with shock (9.2%). There were 18 deaths among the patients with shock and PEN (27.7%). In only one patient was the death related to complications of the nutrition. Although most critically ill children with shock can tolerate postpyloric enteral nutrition, the incidence of gastrointestinal complications is higher in this group of patients than in other critically ill children.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Nutrition Journal
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effects of instituting a feeding protocol with inclusive bowel regimen on tolerance and time to accomplish goal feeding in the pediatric intensive care unit. Retrospective comparison chart review before and after the initiation of a feeding protocol. A total of 91 patients in the year 2000, before the initiation of the protocol, who received nasogastric feedings and 93 patients in year 2002 after the protocol was initiated. Patients were selected for review if they received nasogastric tube feedings while in the pediatric intensive care unit. The data were reviewed from time of admission in the pediatric intensive care unit through 7 days of goal feedings or discharge from the pediatric intensive care unit. Data examined included: days in the pediatric intensive care unit and hospital, time to goal feedings, concomitant use of cardiovascular medications, sedation, analgesia, episodes of feedings held, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. The protocol group achieved goal nutrition in an average of 18.5 hrs and a median of 14 hrs. The retrospective group achieved goal feedings at an average of 57.8 hrs and a median of 32 hrs (p < .0001). Also noted were a reduction in the percentage of patients vomiting from 20% to 11% and a reduction in constipation from 51% to 33%. This comparison study suggests that the institution of a feeding protocol will not only achieve goal feedings at a substantially reduced time but also improve tolerance of enteral feedings in patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2006 · Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
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