NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 10:26 AM
Sick children should be practically starved early in intensive care unit stays to help them recover faster, says a new study that tosses aside centuries of common practice.
Feeding children more later in their hospital stay was found to help them more, according to the study.
Children who had “little to no feedings had fewer infections, less organ failure, and a quicker recovery than children who had been fed through the IV,” said Greet Van den Berghe, a professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.
“The effect was present in everyone, regardless of the type of disease,” added Van den Beghe, lead author of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers used sick children in Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada to challenge the long-held assumption of artificially feeding very sick children as soon as they are admitted to the hospital.
Results were impressive: all of the 1,440 critically ill children who were fed almost nothing recovered faster than those receiving what had been considered the normal amount of sustenence. And, naturally, doctors were monitoring the patients, not allowing any ill to come to them.