A retrospective audit looking at nutrition, feeding and weight gain in VLBW infants has shown that the introduction of a weekly nutrition WR has increased calorie intake and consequently improved weight gain.
Data from 50 VLBW infants was audited against current parenteral and enteral feeding policies on a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Midway through the audit, a weekly nutrition WR (the intervention) was introduced and the pre and post-intervention groups compared.
The weekly nutrition WR took place at a separate time to the daily WR. Infants were discussed at the cot-side by a multi-disciplinary team. The WR was led by a neonatal consultant or senior paediatric trainee and attended by a paediatric dietician and members of senior neonatal nursing staff. Other members of medical and nursing staff would also contribute.
In the cohort of infants audited after the implementation of the nutrition WR, breast milk fortifier was added at an earlier time point to the milk of infants that had achieved full enteral feeds. Higher calorie intakes (closer to the target of ≥ 110 kCal/Kg/day) were achieved earlier (P < 0.05) after the nutrition WR started. This was associated with improved weight gain, including exceeding birth weight earlier.