Limited data exist regarding feeding pediatric patients managed on non-invasive respiratory support (NRS) modes that augment oxygenation and ventilation in the setting of acute respiratory failure. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to explore the safety of feeding patients managed on NRS with acute respiratory failure secondary to bronchiolitis. Children up to two years old with critical bronchiolitis managed on continuous positive airway pressure, bilevel positive airway pressure, or RAM cannula were included. Of the 178 eligible patients, 64 were reportedly nil per os (NPO), while 114 received enteral nutrition (EN). Overall equivalent in severity of illness, younger patients populated the EN group, while the NPO group experienced a higher incidence of intubation. Duration of stay in the pediatric intensive care unit and non-invasive respiratory support were shorter in the NPO group, though intubation eliminated the former difference. Within the EN group, ninety percent had feeds initiated within 48 h and 94% reached full feeds within 7 days of NRS initiation, with an 8% complication and <1% aspiration rate. Reported complications did not result in escalation of respiratory support. Notably, a significant improvement in heart rate and respiratory rate was noted after feeds initiation. Taken together, our study supports the practice of early enteral nutrition in patients with critical bronchiolitis requiring NRS.
- Acute respiratory failure
- Critical bronchiolitis
- Early enteral nutrition
- Non-invasive respiratory support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health