Every three-hour versus every six-hour oral feeding in preterm infants: a randomised clinical trial.
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<p><strong>AIM: </strong>This trial compares two oral feeding schedules, every three-hour and every six-hour oral feeding attempts, to determine which schedule allows for more rapid attainment of full oral feeding in preterm infants.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Infants born at ≤33-week gestation were randomly assigned to receive oral feeding every three hours or every six hours if feeding cues were present. The primary outcome was time to full oral feeding; secondary outcomes include respiratory and apnoea rates, growth and length of stay.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>A total of 55 infants were recruited. There was no difference between the groups in the primary or secondary outcomes.</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>For preterm infants fed when oral feeding cues are present, an every six-hour schedule did not alter the time to full oral feeding and had no effect on rates of tachypnoea, apnoea or length of hospital stay compared to every three-hour feeding schedule. An every six-hour oral feeding schedule led to only small reductions in number of oral feeding attempts per day.</p>