Do feeding practices during transfusion influence the risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis in preterm infants?

Cathie Hilditch, Amy Keir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Our evidence-based review set out to answer the clinical question ‘In a preterm infant (patient) with anaemia of prematurity, do feeding practices (intervention) during blood transfusion reduce the risk of developing transfusion-associated necrotising enterocolitis (outcome)’? We found limited evidence that withholding feeding during red blood cell transfusion in preterm infants may reduce the risk of development of transfusion-associated necrotising enterocolitis. As clinical equipoise seemingly exists, it seems reasonable for individual units to make their own decisions regarding whether to withhold or continue enteral feeds during red blood cell transfusion until further evidence is available. The UKbased Withholding Enteral Feeds Around Transfusion (WHEAT) trial, a nation-wide multi-centre ‘opt-out’ randomised controlled study, hopefully will definitively answer our clinical question. Further research in other areas of neonatal care, using this innovative study design, is needed and it is exciting to see such a study underway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2018


  • Enteral feeding
  • Enterocolitis, necrotising
  • Infant, newborn
  • Transfusion, red blood cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this