Objectives To evaluate feasibility and consequences of accelerated feeding advancement on short-term outcomes in extremely low gestational age neonates (ELGANs) who stayed in our institution for >28 days.
Methods Retrospective single-centre cohort analysis covering the years 2011–2013. Data are presented as median (IQR).
Results Infants '(n=77) birth weight was 745 (640 to 960) g and gestational age at birth 26.7 (25.1 to 27.4) weeks. Full enteral feeds were attained by postnatal day 7 (5 to 11). Weight gain from birth to discharge was 14.3 (13.3 to 16.1) g/kg/day, change in SD score for weight −0.03 (−0.55 to 0.46) and 0.09 (−0.78 and 0.82) for head circumference. Rates of necrotising enterocolitis and spontaneous intestinal perforation in all ELGANs admitted during the study period were 3.1% and 9.4%, respectively.
Conclusions This cohort of ELGANs showed good weight gain and head growth after early full enteral nutrition. The impact of this feeding practice on neonatal morbidity and long-term outcome remains to be tested in adequately powered randomised trials.
- extremely low birth weight infants
- infant, premature
- infant, newborn
- feeding methods
- weight gain
- necrotizing enterocolitis
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Contributors CM designed the study, performed the analyses, drafted the initial manuscript and revised the manuscript. ARF contributed to study design, supervised data analyses, and reviewed and revised the manuscript making important intellectual contributions. SvK was responsible for data collection and recording, and additionally she reviewed and revised the manuscript making important intellectual contributions. JA contributed to data collection and reviewed and revised the manuscript making important intellectual contributions. CFP supervised this study and reviewed and revised the manuscript making important intellectual contributions.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.