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Actual and Potential Impact of a Home Nasogastric Tube Feeding Program for Infants Whose Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Discharge Is Affected by Delayed Oral Feedings. J Pediatr 2021 Jul;234:38-45.e2



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85105322102   2 Citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare healthcare use and parent health-related quality of life (HRQL) in 3 groups of infants whose neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) discharge was delayed by oral feedings.

STUDY DESIGN: This was a prospective, single-center cohort of infants in the NICU from September 2018 to March 2020. After enrollment, weekly chart review determined eligibility for home nasogastric (NG) feeds based on predetermined criteria. Actual discharge feeding decisions were at clinical discretion. At 3 months' postdischarge, we compared acute healthcare use and parental HRQL, measured by the PedsQL Family Impact Module, among infants who were NG eligible but discharged with all oral feeds, discharged with NG feeds, and discharged with gastrostomy (G) tubes. We calculated NICU days saved by home NG discharges.

RESULTS: Among 180 infants, 80 were orally fed, 35 used NG, and 65 used G tubes. Compared with infants who had NG-tube feedings, infants who had G-tube feedings had more gastrointestinal or tube-related readmissions and emergency encounters (unadjusted OR 3.97, 95% CI 1.3-12.7, P = .02), and orally-fed infants showed no difference in use (unadjusted OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.1-1.7, P = .225). Multivariable adjustment did not change these comparisons. Parent HRQL at 3 months did not differ between groups. Infants discharged home with NG tubes saved 1574 NICU days.

CONCLUSIONS: NICU discharge with NG feeds is associated with reduced NICU stay without increased postdischarge healthcare use or decreased parent HRQL, whereas G-tube feeding was associated with increased postdischarge healthcare use.

Author List

Lagatta JM, Uhing M, Acharya K, Lavoie J, Rholl E, Malin K, Malnory M, Leuthner J, Brousseau DC


Krishna Kartikey Acharya MBBS Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
David Brousseau MD Chief, Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Joanne M. Lagatta MD Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Infant, Extremely Premature
Infant, Newborn
Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
Intubation, Gastrointestinal
Length of Stay
Prospective Studies
Quality of Life
Surveys and Questionnaires