Reducing the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome with the introduction of an enteral feed protocol

Sylvia L. Del Castillo, Mary E. McCulley, Robinder G. Khemani, Howard E. Jeffries, Dan W. Thomas, Jamie Peregrine, Winfield J. Wells, Vaughn A. Starnes, David Y. Moromisato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome are prone to gastrointestinal complications, including necrotizing enterocolitis, during initiation or advancement of enteral feeds. A feeding protocol was developed to standardize practice across a multidisciplinary team. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a standardized feeding protocol on the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis and overall postoperative gastrointestinal morbidity. DESIGN: Retrospective case-control study. SETTING: Cardiothoracic intensive care unit of a tertiary care children's hospital. PATIENTS: Ninety-eight neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome admitted to the cardiothoracic intensive care unit after first-stage palliation. INTERVENTION: A retrospective chart review was performed. Two groups were analyzed: the preprotocol group (n = 52) was examined from January 2000 through December 31, 2001, and the postprotocol group (n = 46) from February 2002 through December 31, 2003. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The incidence of suspected or diagnosed necrotizing enterocolitis as defined by the modified Bell staging criteria was recorded. Data were also collected regarding postoperative day of enteral feed initiation, postoperative day full feeds attained, and postoperative hospital length of stay. Necrotizing enterocolitis was detected in 14 preprotocol (27%) and three postprotocol (6.5%) patients (p < .01). Enteral feeds were initiated later in the postprotocol group (7.5 vs. 5.5 days, p < .001), and number of days to full feeds was also later in the postprotocol group (7 vs. 4 days, p = .02). Hospital length of stay tended to be shorter in the postprotocol group (21.5 vs. 28 days, p = .25). CONCLUSION: Measures directed at reducing the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis may reduce morbidity in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and reduce cost by decreasing hospital length of stay. A standardized feeding protocol instituted to address these problems likely contributed to reducing the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-377
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Enteral feeds
  • Feeding protocol
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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