Introduction: High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) is commonly used for children with respiratory failure, yet no standardized guidelines exist on how to initiate, escalate, and maintain enteral nutrition (EN) for these patients. EN in critically ill children is associated with decreased hospital length of stay, decreased ventilator days, and fewer acquired infections. We aimed to decrease the mean time to EN initiation by 50% after the start of HFNC in 6 months. Methods: This quality improvement project used the Model for Improvement to inform interventions. A multidisciplinary team created an EN pathway for critically ill patients on HFNC. We conducted Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles related to implementing a standardized pathway for EN on HFNC. The primary outcome was time to EN initiation once on HFNC. Secondary outcomes were time to goal caloric EN, duration of HFNC, and adverse events. Outcomes were plotted on statistical process control charts and analyzed for special cause variation between baseline and intervention periods. Results: We included 112 patients in the study. Special cause variation occurred for both primary and secondary outcomes. The mean time to EN initiation decreased from 24.6 hours to 11.7 hours (47.5%). Mean time to goal feeds decreased from 25.8 hours to 15.1 hours (58.5%). Mean HFNC duration did not show any special cause variation. There were no episodes of aspiration. Conclusion: Implementation of a standardized pathway for EN on patients receiving HFNC resulted in decreased time to initiation of EN and time to goal caloric EN with no significant increase in adverse events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health