Observational study in preterm infants of splanchnic and cerebral tissue oxygenation in relation to tolerance of a feeding advancement protocol

Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to see preterm babies who do well with feeding also show good gut blood flow and oxygen levels and if preterm babies who do not do well with their feeding have bad gut blood flow and oxygen levels. A preterm baby’s stomach and gut are not fully formed yet. Therefore, it can be hard for these babies to tolerate feeding the breast milk or formula. Feedings are slowly advanced for preterm babies to give them a little more food each day, and the doctors and nurses watch to see how the baby handles the food. They try to advance the feeds in a similar way for all preterm babies. However, some babies still don’t do well with feedings even when they are increased only a little at a time. These babies have to be watched especially closely to make sure there are not gut problems and have to stay on IV fluid for longer periods of time. One reason why babies may not handle food well is if they are having less blood flow and oxygen brought to the gut from the heart. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a machine designed to monitor blood flow and oxygen levels. It uses light to monitor the blood flow and oxygen to the gut. This works by placing a sensor on the skin that can measure the amount of light sent to the skin and how much light comes back to give an idea about the blood and oxygen in the gut tissue beneath. It has been used safely for years as a tool to measure blood and oxygen levels in adults, children, and babies. It can take measurements in other parts too, such as the brain, muscle, and kidney. Doctors can compare these different oxygen levels in the brain and the gut to see if the oxygen level in the gut is considered good. It is too low, that can be considered bad and possibly be a reason why a baby would not tolerate their feeding.

Clinical Study Identifier: s18-01576

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