Indirect calorimetry reveals that better monitoring of nutrition therapy in pediatric intensive care is needed.JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2015 Mar; 39(3):344-52.JJ
Monitoring nutrition therapy is essential in the care of critically ill children, but the risk of nutrition failure seems to remain. The aims of the present study were to examine the prevalence of underfeeding, adequate feeding, and overfeeding in mechanically ventilated children and to identify barriers to the delivery of nutrition support.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Children aged 0-14 years who fulfilled the criteria for indirect calorimetry were enrolled in this prospective, observational study and were studied for up to 5 consecutive days. Actual energy intake was recorded and compared with the required energy intake (measured energy expenditure plus 10%); energy intake was classified as underfeeding (<90% of required energy intake), adequate feeding (90%-110%), or overfeeding (>110%). The reasons for interruptions to enteral and parenteral nutrition were recorded.
In total, 104 calorimetric measurements for 140 total days were recorded for 30 mechanically ventilated children. Underfeeding, adequate feeding, and overfeeding occurred on 21.2%, 18.3%, and 60.5% of the 104 measurement days, respectively. There was considerable variability in the measured energy expenditure between children (median, 37.2 kcal/kg/d; range, 16.81-66.38 kcal/kg/d), but the variation within each child was small. Respiratory quotient had low sensitivity of 21% and 27% for detecting underfeeding and overfeeding, respectively. Fasting for procedures was the most frequent barrier that led to interrupted nutrition support.
The high percentage of children (~61%) who were overfed emphasizes the need to measure energy needs by using indirect calorimetry.