We investigated the association of nil per os (NPO) status and subsequent nutritional support with patient weight and length of stay (LOS) during admission for bronchiolitis in patients <2 years old.
A retrospective chart review was performed of all patients <2 years old admitted to an academic pediatric hospital between November 2009 and June 2011 with a Current Procedural Terminology code of bronchiolitis. Data extracted from the medical record included respiratory rate, per os/NPO status, use of intravenous fluids, use of enteral tube feedings, weight, and LOS. Patients who did not have 2 weights recorded were excluded. The major outcome measures were weight change during admission and LOS.
The study included 149 patients. The mean ± SD patient age was 3.7 ± 3.8 months, with a median age of 2 months. The median length of stay was 4 days (interquartile range: 3–6). Overall, 16% of patients were made NPO, 75% received intravenous fluids, and 9% received enteral tube feedings. The mean weight loss for all patients was 38 (289) g during the hospitalization, which was not statistically significant. No significant association was found between weight loss and LOS, per os/NPO status, or use of intravenous fluids. However, NPO status was associated with a significant increase in LOS.
The infants admitted for bronchiolitis did not demonstrate weight loss in this study; however, an association was seen between NPO status and prolonged LOS.