Early enteral feeding in newborn surgical patients
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Objective: We report the results of a multicenter prospective trial of early enteral trophic feeding in a group of 56 neonates who required abdominal surgery for a variety of congenital anomalies. Methods: In this clinical study, 33 neonates were fed in the early postoperative period (early enteral nutrition [EEN] group), and the remaining 23 (control [C] group) were fasted until resolution of postoperative ileus. Patients in the EEN group (Kocaeli feeding protocol) received 3 to 5 mL of breast milk every hour through a nasogastric feeding tube, starting a mean of 12 It (8 to 20 h) after surgery. The nasogastric tube was clamped for 40 min after each infusion and then opened for drainage. Groups were further divided into two subgroups according to whether an intestinal anastomosis or laparotomy was performed. The change in daily gastric drainage, time to first stool, day of toleration to full oral feeding, and length of hospital stay were compared. Blood bilirubin levels, white blood cell count, and C-reactive protein levels were monitored. Results: The time to first stool and day of toleration to full oral feeding occurred significantly sooner, whereas nasogastric tube drainage duration and hospital stay were significantly shorter in the EEN-anastomosis group than in the C-anastomosis group. Time to first stool occurred significantly sooner in the EEN-laparotomy group than in the C-laparotomy group, although other parameters did not differ. Neither anastomotic leakage nor dehiscence was observed in any group. There were two cases of wound infection and two of exitus among patients in the C group. Conclusion: Postoperative, early intragastric, small-volume breast milk feeding is well tolerated by newborns. It is a reliable and feasible approach in neonates even in the presence of an intestinal anastomosis after abdominal surgery. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.