Implementation of a bowel regimen protocol in critically ill children: A pilot study
07 September 2012
16 December 2012
28 July 2015 (online)
No studies have evaluated the outcomes of a bowel regimen (BR) in critically ill children receiving enteral nutrition. In fall 2010, a comprehensive feeding protocol and BR protocol were initiated in our institution. Six age-based BR protocols were developed, each of which included a four-step approach. This retrospective study evaluated children <18 years of age who received the BR between July 18, 2010 and April 31, 2012. The primary objective was to determine the percentage of patients requiring BR escalation beyond the initial step in the protocol (Step 1). Secondary objectives included the number of patients with a protocol deviation and the frequency of adverse events. Fifty-four patients were included. The majority were male with a median age of 0.25-year-old (range 0.08–15 yr). Forty-three (79.6%) patients received opioid continuous infusions. The BR was initiated on pediatric intensive care unit day 1 (range 1–25 d). Thirty patients (55.6%) required escalation beyond “Step 1”. All patients who received “Step 2” and “Step 3” had a protocol deviation. Opioid duration was significantly associated with protocol escalation (odds ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval 0.689–0.997; P = 0.047). This pilot study is the first to describe the outcomes of the implementation of a four-step BR in critically ill children. Future studies should focus on the optimal regimen to alleviate constipation in critically ill children.