It is better to wait a week with parenteral nutrition in children in the ICU than to start on the first day. Researchers Koen Joosten and Sascha Verbruggen participated in the groundbreaking study that yielded this result and will undoubtedly lead to much discussion.
It seems perfectly logical to nourish seriously ill children as quickly and in whatever way possible. In an ICU, this will often mean intravenously as tube feeding is not possible. And yet this large, randomized multi-center trial with 1440 children in the ICU, including those in the Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam, concluded that children who only received nourishment 8 days after entering the ICU had significantly fewer infections, less need of dialysis, a shorter ICU stay, and less time on a respirator, compared to children started within 24 hrs on parenteral feeding. No difference in mortality was detected.
The researchers advocate to adjust the guidelines around the world.