Routine versus No Assessment of Gastric Residual Volumes in Very Low Birth Weight Infants Receiving Enteral Feeding via Intermittent Feeding Tubes: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Pre term infants require feeding tubes when they start receiving feeds. Once the volume of milk increases, the current practice in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is to attach a syringe to the end of the feeding tube and pull back to see if there are any stomach contents, which we call residual. The presence and amount of residual, along with abdominal assessments which include measuring around the belly, checking for softness or distension and tenderness, are all factors used to determine whether to increase the feeding. We believe that this process of checking residuals is unnecessary and causes delays in advancing feeds.