An evaluation of nutritional practice in a paediatric burns unit
Methods. We evaluated the feeding practice in a paediatric burns unit. All children admitted to the unit were studied for a minimum of 3 consecutive days. Patients were divided into two groups: those with burns less than 20% (group 1) and burns ≥20% of total body surface area (TBSA) (group 2). Dietary prescriptions, intake, compliance with feeding practices, and the use of supplementary nutrition were assessed. Under-feeding and over-feeding were defined when there was a discrepancy between prescribed and actual food intake.
Results. Forty children (mean age 5.8 years) were studied. They sustained between 2% and 55% TBSA burns. Inadequate caloric intake was seen in 19 of 29 patients and in 9 of 11 patients in groups 1 and 2, respectively. In contrast, excess protein supplementation was seen in 24 of 29 group 1 patients and 6 of 11 group 2 patients. The dietician’s food prescription was followed for 170 of 211 days; prescription compliance was correct in only 39 of 211 days.
Conclusion. Adequate nutrition is essential for burns patients, but several factors can lead to either under- or over-feeding. A daily dietary consumption chart and evaluation of compliance are essential for each patient. There should be greater acceptability of tube enteral feeding.
Monique van Dijk,
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Date published: 2010-06-01
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