NICU oral intake

In our NICU providers are documenting "inadequate oral intake" and "inadequate enteral nutrition" . RD is managing patients and resources are be utilized for the nutritional management of the baby. Question how to code or query to be able to capture this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you-
Sona Buchanan and Beth Wier


  • First thoughts that come to mind are, why are they having inadequate intake and is it causing a degree of malnutrition? Some opportunity is to see what speech therapy is documenting...are they having a swallowing difficulty/some form of dysphagia? We are implementing a malnutrition education in our NICU currently. Patricia Becker is one of our Dietitians that has done some work w/ pediatric and neonatal malnutrition criteria. I hope this helps. Feel free to reach out to me via email.


  • I’ve seen this documentation at numerous organizations & wondered if all the Neo’s went to a conference and learner to document this or does it have something to do with UR criteria. 

    I’ve seen inadequate intake and feeding difficulties documented for premature infants, both of which are expected. 

    I, personally, don’t think there’s anything to capture on the large majority of infants as a 28 weeker is not going to be able to have adequate oral intake and will need enteral and:or parenteral supplementation. 

  • I typically do not look for feeding difficulties until 36 weeks when an infant should be able at that time to take oral feedings, of course case by case dependent. Before that time frame I will look for things like increased protein/calorie in formulas and follow the z score from birth after two weeks of life to look for malnutrition. Other things I have used are poor weight gain, or abnormal weight loss in infant's who do not meet qualifications for malnutrition but are still getting different interventions.

Sign In or Register to comment.