The annual incidence of acute diarrhoea is not declining.
Vaccines are available for only a few types of intestinal infections,
and not the most common ones. Attempts over the years
to immunize against cholera have been unsuccessful, whereas a
vaccine against rotavirus - the most important cause of diarrhoeal
illness in early life - was approved in 1998, but later withdrawn
due to safety concerns.
The fundamental principle underlying nutritional support is that intake meets
needs, thereby ensuring the best outcome. This is not simple in the preterm
very-low-birth-weight infant (VLBWI) because it takes time to establish ‘adequate’
dietary intakes in the more immature and ‘sick’ infant. What is ‘adequate’
and what is not is not well-defined.
Abnormalities in gastric emptying have been documented in a wide variety of
clinical conditions. Delayed gastric emptying is usually found in malnourished
children, associated with inadequate intake of dietary calories and protein and
related to malnutrition or growth retardation.