Undernutrition in this population of children is due to underfeeding and selective diets. Other identified causes are: dysphagia or dental problems, Gastro-oesophageal reflux and constipation. Outside PICU, these neurologically impaired kids often requires less energy needs e.g. wheelchair-borne.
Their micronutrient and protein needs are not enhanced. However, once in the PICU, it is recommended to supply rapid and higher proteins to address inflammation and wound healing. With the brain-gut interaction, it is noted that hypoxia can result to intestinal inflammation. As such, early enteral nutrition should be provided when feasible.