Inadequate nutrition can lead to increased morbidity and mortality for mechanically ventilated children in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Enteral feeding can either be delivered by gravity bolus (intermittent) feeding or continuously via a pump and in UK PICUs variable practice exists. This evidence-based review therefore aimed to examine the evidence surrounding the two feeding methods for ventilated children, to determine whether one provides better enteral nutrition. Four papers were included, three randomized controlled trials and a systematic review, which provide conflicting evidence. There is some suggestion that bolus feeding may be superior in medical children on PICU to achieve their energy and protein goals faster, however, the clinical significance of the results is questionable and further research is needed to identify whether one method of feeding can impact on patient outcomes.
- paediatric intensive/critical care