Research: Nutrition Considerations in Neonatal Extracorporeal Life Support


. 2021 Jun;22(6):e382-e391. doi: 10.1542/neo.22-6-e382.

Nutrition Considerations in Neonatal Extracorporeal Life Support

Heidi J Murphy 1David T Selewski 1Affiliations expand


Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is a life-saving therapy, but neonates who require ECLS have unique nutritional needs and require aggressive, early nutritional support. These critically ill neonates are at increased risk for long-term feeding difficulties, malnutrition, and growth failure with associated increased morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, few studies specific to this population exist. Clinical guidelines published by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition are specific to this population and available to aid clinicians in appropriate nutrition regimens, but studies to date suggest that nutrition provision varies greatly from center to center and often is inadequate. Though enteral feedings are becoming more common, aggressive parenteral nutrition is still needed to ensure nutrition goals are met, including the goal of increased protein provision. Long-term complications, including the need for tube feedings and growth failure, are common in neonatal ECLS survivors, particularly those with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Oral aversion with poor feeding and growth failure must be anticipated and recognized early if present. The nutritional implications associated with the development of acute kidney injury, fluid overload, or the use of continuous renal replacement therapy must be recognized. In this state-of-the-art review, we examine aspects of nutrition for neonates receiving ECLS including nutritional requirements, nutrition provision, current practices, long-term outcomes, and special population considerations.

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