Recently significant interest from families and healthcare providers has arisen to use blenderized tube feedings (BTF). Although many institutions are providing this nutritional option, literature documenting outcomes and safety is lacking.
A retrospective chart review was performed on pediatric patients receiving BTF at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital between January 2013 and April 2017.Demographic data and dietary information prior to and after BTF were collected. Reasons for diet initiation, symptoms and anthropometrics were recorded. Adverse events and outcomes were assessed through physician documentation and relevant medication changes.
Thirty-five patients (24 male) received BTF. Age at initiation of BTF ranged from 1-19 years (mean 8.3 +/- 5.8 [SD] years). Length of follow-up ranged from 1- 45 months (mean 15 +/- 12.2 months). The most common reason for starting BTF was gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (N = 32). Almost all patients were on medications for GERD, constipation or gastrointestinal dysmotility prior to starting BTF (N = 33). Majority of patients had improvement in relevant symptoms (N = 20); 13 of 33 patients on gastrointestinal medications were able to wean or stop medication(s). BMI z scores did not before and after BTF initiation (p = 0.558). No serious life-threatening adverse events were found.
Our data suggest that BTF is a safe dietary intervention that may improve gastrointestinal symptoms in pediatric patients. Further prospective studies are needed to compare safety and efficacy of BTF and commercial formulas in pediatric patients.