MONDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Less than one-half of children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit have a documented caloric requirement, with documentation associated with higher energy intake and use of the enteral route, according to a study published online June 28 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Martin Wakeham, M.D., from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues described early documentation of a caloric requirement and its effect in 1,349 critically ill children, aged 30 days to 18 years, who were admitted to pediatric intensive care units at five study centers.
The researchers found that 47.7 percent of patients had a caloric requirement documented in the medical record, of which 95.6 percent were entered by a registered dietician. Compared to those without a documented caloric requirement, patients with a documented caloric requirement had significantly higher total daily energy intake and were significantly more likely to be fed enterally during the first four days of admission.
"Less than half of the critically ill children studied had a caloric requirement documented early in their medical record; having a caloric requirement documented early in the medical record of children with critical illness is associated with higher energy intake and the more frequent use of the enteral route, which might improve clinical outcomes," the authors write. "When a caloric requirement was documented early in the medical record of a critically ill child, a registered dietician had likely made the note."