Learning Objective 1: identify signs of respiratory distress in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Learning Objective 2: describe the semi-demand feeding method for preterm infants with BPD.
Methods: The setting was a 120 bed neonatal intensive care unit. A randomized, experimental design included 86 preterm infants with BPD who were assigned to the control condition (n = 42) (standard care) or the experimental protocol (n = 44). Nurses assigned to the experimental protocol used infant behavioral and cardio-respiratory responses to regulate frequency, length, and volume of feedings during the transition from gavage to nipple feeding in order to minimize feeding distress, fatigue, and hypoxemia. Mean gestational ages at birth and birth weights were 25 + 1.54 weeks and 784 gm for the control group, and 25 + 1.48 weeks and 787 gm in the experimental group.
Results: Experimental infants reached full, nipple feedings M = 5.93 (0.74) days, while control infants took M = 12.33 (0.82) days (F[1, 85] = 40.21, p < .0001). The nursing costs for time associated with provision of feedings for infants in the control group were on average $1,123 and $722 for experimental infants (F[1, 85] = 7.84, p < .01).
Conclusion: The use of the experimental feeding method holds promise for helping preterm infants with BPD transition from gavage to nipple feeding in a manner that uniquely considers the infant’s signs of chronic respiratory distress and is cost effective.
See more of: World Academy of Nursing Science: Oral Paper & Posters