Feeding problems in infants and young children with chronic lung disease
Aim: To determine the frequency and nature of feeding problems in infants with oxygen dependent chronic lung disease (CLD).Methods: A questionnaire regarding the feeding history of the infant was administered to parents of infants with CLD and a control group.Results: Forty-seven infants with CLD and 35 control infants were studied. Fewer infants in the CLD group fed well once established on milk feeds compared to the control group (49% vs. 77%; P<0.05) and a greater number had significant vomiting under the age of 6 months when compared to controls (66% vs. 37%; P<0.05). The CLD group had a significantly higher incidence of feeding problems compared to the controls, including recurrent spitting out of food (34% vs. 3%), refusal of food (38% vs. 26%) or gagging on food (47% vs. 6%). Twenty-three per cent of infants in the CLD group required enteral feeding beyond 3 months of age, and 19% had a second episode of enteral feeding.Conclusion: The incidence of feeding problems in infants with CLD is high. Strategies aimed at reducing these problems need to be identified and evaluated.