For a study, researchers sought to determine if enteral nutrition (EN) was safe for kids on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). They also sought to describe the nutritional state of the group and the characteristics of nutritional support. A retrospective single-centre study (2006–2016) involving children under the age of 18 who were on ECMO. Demographic information, nutritional status, nutritional support characteristics, and the occurrence of gastrointestinal (GI) problems were all documented. A total of 100 children were enrolled, with a median age of 9.7 months (interquartile range [IQR] 3.9–63.1). Undernutrition was common in children on ECMO (33.3%), especially in kids under the age of 2 years (P=0.042). EN was given to most patients (64%) at some stage during their ECMO treatment. EN was given to 60.3% of the infants within the first 48 hours of ECMO commencement (48HEN). Patients who received EN as the initial artificial nutrition support (ANS) had a decreased mortality rate in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (37.7% vs 51%, P=0.005), as were children on 48HEN (34% vs 50%, P=0.04). The only parameters linked to mortality in the logistic regression analysis were the length of ECMO support and a poor cardiac output indication. Although most ECMO patients (45%) suffered digestive issues, they were mainly minor, with constipation being the most common. EN was not linked to an increase in GI problems in the logistic regression analysis (P=0.09). Only 3 patients suffered ischemia in their intestines (1 without EN and 2 on EN). Undernutrition was common in children on ECMO, especially in infants under the age of 2. EN wasn’t linked to serious gastrointestinal problems or a higher death rate in these kids.

Source:journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltext/2022/01000/Early_Enteral_Nutrition_and_Gastrointestinal.19.aspx