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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Nov;16(5):309-14.

Enteral feeding of preterm neonates: a survey of Australian neonatologists.

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Department of Neonatology, Kirwan Hospital for Women, Townsville, Australia.


Postnatal growth restriction has been recently identified as a serious problem in preterm, especially extremely low birth weight neonates who are also at the highest risk for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The fear of NEC and the difficulties in interpreting the signs of feed intolerance continue to be responsible for the variations in enteral feeding practices for these neonates. Such variations in clinical practice (e.g. fluid management, feeding regimens) have also been proposed to represent the 'iatrogenic' component of NEC. The findings of a survey (a questionnaire for self-administration and anonymous response) to document the enteral feeding practices of Australian neonatologists for neonates < 32 weeks' gestation are reported. A few controversial feeding practices are discussed in the light of the current evidence. The importance of minimizing variations in nutritional practices is emphasized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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