Presentation Information

Dr. Leslie Parker

Time for A Change: Feeding Tube Dwell Time and Contamination in the NICU

  • Speaker: Dr. Leslie Parker , PhD, APRN
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME

Because preterm very low birth weight (VLBW) infants are too immature to orally feed, they require a feeding tube (FT) for weeks to months to meet their nutritional needs. These FTs are a reservoir for pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria that may increase the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, late onset sepsis and feeding intolerance. In the neonatal intensive care unit, guidelines regarding FT dwell time are non-existent and FTs are often not replaced for weeks following insertion. As with other external devices, such as central venous lines and urinary catheters, the risk of bacterial contamination increases the longer the device remains in place. Contaminated FTs can cause gastrointestinal microbial dysbiosis and inflammation, thereby increasing the risk of complications including necrotizing enterocolitis, late onset sepsis and feeding intolerance.

This presentation will provide an overview of FT contamination and the evidence surrounding the optimal FT dwell time to decrease FT contamination and improve infant health.