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Enteral Feeding Practices in Infants with Congenital Heart Disease Across European PICUs: A European Society of Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Survey

Tume, Lyvonne N; Balmaks, Reinis; Latten, Lynne; Da Cruz, Eduardo; Verbruggen, Sascha; Valla, Frederic


Lyvonne Tume
Associate Professor in Child Health

Reinis Balmaks

Lynne Latten

Eduardo Da Cruz

Sascha Verbruggen

Frederic Valla


© Copyright 2017 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies. Objectives: To describe enteral feeding practices in pre and postoperative infants with congenital heart disease in European PICUs. Design: Cross-sectional electronic survey. Setting: European PICUs that admit infants with congenital heart disease pre-and postoperatively. Participants: One senior PICU physician or designated person per unit. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Fifty-nine PICUs from 18 European countries responded to the survey. PICU physicians were involved in the nutritional care of children with congenital heart disease in most (76%) PICUs, but less than 60% of units had a dedicated dietician. Infants with congenital heart disease were routinely fed preoperatively in only 63% of the PICUs, due to ongoing concerns around prostaglandin E1 infusion, the presence of umbilical venous and/or arterial catheters, and the use of vasoactive drugs. In three quarters of the PICUs (76%), infants were routinely fed during the first 24 hours postoperatively. Units cited, the most common feeding method, both pre and postoperatively, was intermittent bolus feeds via the gastric route. Importantly, 69% of European PICUs still did not have written guidelines for feeding, but this varied for pre and postoperative patients. Conclusions: Wide variations in practices exist in the nutritional care between European PICUs, which reflects the absence of local protocols and scientific society-endorsed guidelines. This is likely to contribute to suboptimal energy delivery in this particularly vulnerable group.


Tume, L. N., Balmaks, R., Latten, L., Da Cruz, E., Verbruggen, S., & Valla, F. (2018). Enteral Feeding Practices in Infants with Congenital Heart Disease Across European PICUs: A European Society of Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Survey. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 19(2), 137-144.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 4, 2017
Publication Date Feb 1, 2018
Journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Print ISSN 1529-7535
Electronic ISSN 1947-3893
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 137-144
Keywords nutrition, enteral feeding, intensive care, neonates, children, congenital heart disease, survey
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the accepted version of the article published at:


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