“What is exciting about our findings is that kids seemed to have a better outcome, both with respect to mortality and to functional outcomes, if they were fed within 72 hours of being in the ICU,” said Elizabeth Meinert, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
“There are a lot of high-tech and physiology-focused treatments for traumatic brain injury, and I think that sometimes we forget about feeding these kids because we’re so worried about their brains,” she told Medscape Medical News.
“It’s important to remember that nutrition is another treatment for the brain, basically,” Dr Meinert said here at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 45th Critical Care Congress.
In their study, Dr Meinert and her team used data from the Cool Kids Trial (Lancet Neurol. 2013;12:546-553), which evaluated therapeutic hypothermia as a treatment for traumatic brain injury in children. In that study, the researchers randomized 77 children to receive hypothermia or normothermia; 13.3% of the patients died.
The Cool Kids researchers also collected information that wasn’t relevant to hypothermia as a treatment, including the timing of nutrition initiation, Dr Meinert reported. This additional information was used by her team “to do our own statistical analysis, and to look at nutrition specifically,” she said.
The timing of nutritional support varied widely; 35.5% of the children received nutritional support 48 hours or less after the traumatic brain injury, 40.0% received it 48 to 72 hours after the injury, 18.9% received it more than 72 hours after the injury, and 5.6% received no nutritional support during the study period.
This post was originally published on Medscape written by Fran Lowry.