Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Special considerations regarding nutrient needs of low birth weight, premature infants begin at birth. Because of limited body stores, increased expenditure, severity of illness, and/or immaturity, premature infants are provided parenteral glucose solutions immediately from birth. Enteral feedings often are precluded because of the multiplicity of medical problems. Within a few days after birth, parenteral nutrition is initiated consisting of intravenous glucose, amino acids, electrolytes, and vitamins. Subsequently, provision of total parenteral nutrition consisting of intravenous glucose, amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins, and lipid emulsions is used for maintenance and, if adjusted appropriately, can be used to support growth. Minimal enteral nutrition is added to provide small, trophic quantities of milk by tube-feeding. As the infant matures physiologically and the medical condition stabilizes, total parenteral nutrition is slowly replaced with enteral nutrition. This review describes the nutritional needs and goals for premature infants. Both parenteral and enteral nutritional needs are discussed. Special consideration is given to the premature infant at the time of discharge.