The value of routine evaluation of gastric residuals in very low birth weight infants

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OBJECTIVE:Little information exists regarding gastric residual (GR) evaluation prior to feedings in premature infants. The purpose of this study was to compare the amount of feedings at 2 and 3 weeks of age, number of days to full feedings, growth and incidence of complications between infants who underwent RGR (routine evaluation of GR) evaluation versus those who did not.STUDY DESIGN:Sixty-one premature infants were randomized to one of two groups. Group 1 received RGR evaluation prior to feeds and Group 2 did not.RESULT:There was no difference in amount of feeding at 2 (P = 0.66) or 3 (P = 0.41) weeks of age, growth, days on parenteral nutrition or complications. Although not statistically significant, infants without RGR evaluation reached feeds of 150 ml kg-1 per day 6 days earlier and had 6 fewer days with central venous access.CONCLUSION:Results suggest RGR evaluation may not improve nutritional outcomes in premature infants.

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