Inadequate nutrition early in life is a major contributor to growth failure and neurodevelopmental impairment among preterm infants. Even though feeding a low birthweight (LBW) infant in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a fundamental part of its management, there is a great deal of heterogeneity of practice. Evidence shows that each NICU must develop its own protocol and although often consensus based, compliance is difficult to track and the impact of adherence is largely unknown.
A new feeding protocol was implemented at a level III NICU in August 2020. In order to understand the context of the current standard of care, we analyzed 5 years of nutritional practices to benchmark feeding milestones, growth and outcomes (Pre-protocol Period). After implementation, we continued to track the provision of nutrition under the Protocol Period. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the protocol on feeding milestones and growth parameters.
Gomez Pomar, E., MD, MsC1; Warren, T.2, Jantzen, T. 2, Genetti, D.2
1 St Bernards Regional Medical Center and 2 Astarte Medical Partners