Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crib-side Studies Help Struggling Newborns Go Home Without Feeding Tubes

Date:
January 26, 2009
Source:
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Summary:
A new strategy is helping premature infants and other newborns with severe swallowing difficulties learn to feed on their own. Physicians were able to help 15 out of 20 infants with severe feeding difficulties and airway concerns learn to feed by mouth.

A new strategy developed in the Neonatal and Infant Feeding Disorders Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital is helping premature infants and other newborns with severe swallowing difficulties learn to feed on their own. According to a study appearing in the February issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, physicians at Nationwide Children's were able to help 15 out of 20 infants with severe feeding difficulties and airway concerns learn to feed by mouth. Successful feeders were sent home without the need for feeding tubes.

These infants were referred to the Neonatal and Infant Feeding Disorders Program for evaluation and management of their severe feeding concerns. Previous research has shown that nearly two out of 10 babies experience difficulty feeding, often resulting in significant medical bills and extended hospital stays. In the United States, approximately 13 percent of all infants, and 26 percent of premature infants experience swallowing dysfunction.

Aside from the improved quality of life, this study resulted in an estimated savings of $1.8 million in health care costs for the participants related to gastric feeding tubes (G-tubes). It has been estimated that the health care costs for children on G-tubes is nearly $50,000 per patient for the first year, about the cost of one year's tuition at a major ivy-league university.

"Any infant that fails to feed orally is considered to have feeding difficulty," said Sudarshan Jadcherla, MD, FRCPI, DCH, AGAF, Nationwide Children's Hospital neonatologist and principal investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research, medical director of the Neonatal and Infant Feeding Disorders Program at Nationwide Children's and lead author of the study. Dr. Jadcherla is funded by the National Institutes of Health to study the mechanisms of feeding disorders in infants.

Symptoms of feeding difficulties include difficulty breathing, spluttering, coughing during and after feeds, aspiration, regurgitation, failure to coordinate sucking and swallowing with breathing, and irritability during feeds. These feeding difficulties can be seen in patients with systemic illness and may relate to gastrointestinal, esophageal, behavioral, neurological, structural, and cardiorespiratory origins.

Despite the range of symptoms or causes of feeding difficulty, the desired objective is the same said Dr. Jadcherla, also an associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "For every baby diagnosed with a feeding disorder, the ultimate goal is full oral feeds."

Teaching newborns to transition early to oral feeds is imperative. "We can make the greatest impact during the first few months of their lives because this is when the largest transformation is going on in their behaviors and feeding skills," said Dr. Jadcherla. If infants don't develop appropriate pathways to feeding skills early on, it is less likely that they will develop them during their lifetime.

The babies that learned to feed orally in the study did so through approaches developed at the Newborn and Infant Disorders Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The program accelerates newborns' feeding skills through individualized, crib-side studies. To determine the underpinning of each newborn's feeding problem, the team uses a special feeding tube with advanced sensors to capture the rhythm of muscular contractions throughout the entire aero-digestive tract, beginning with the mouth and ending beyond the stomach. The signals from the tube are translated into a graphic form and are evaluated. Data is then shared with a multidisciplinary clinical team that collaborates to execute the individualized strategies for delivering effective nutrition, based on the baby's individual needs.

In light of outcome data, this multidisciplinary program could serve as a model of care for newborns with feeding disorders and could lead to new understanding of how pediatric feeding disorders develop. "These diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that have evolved to improve feeding success may raise the health quality and lower the costs," said Dr. Jadcherla.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nationwide Children's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Crib-side Studies Help Struggling Newborns Go Home Without Feeding Tubes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090123075002.htm>.
Nationwide Children's Hospital. (2009, January 26). Crib-side Studies Help Struggling Newborns Go Home Without Feeding Tubes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090123075002.htm
Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Crib-side Studies Help Struggling Newborns Go Home Without Feeding Tubes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090123075002.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins