1. Sherrow, Tammy RN, MN
  2. Dressler-Mund, Donna BScOT(c)
  3. Kowal, Kelly RD, BSc
  4. Dai, Susan RD, MSc
  5. Wilson, Melissa D. BScOT
  6. Lasby, Karen RN, MN


Gastroesophageal reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms are common challenges for very low-birth-weight infants (<1500 g). These symptoms frequently result in feeding difficulties and family stress. Management of symptoms across healthcare disciplines may not be based on current evidence, and inconsistency can result in confusion for families and delayed interventions. The feeding relationship between infant and caregivers may be impaired when symptoms are persistent and poorly managed. An algorithm for managing gastroesophageal reflux-like symptoms in very low-birth-weight infants (from hospital discharge to 12 months corrected age) was developed through the formation of a multidisciplinary community of practice and critical appraisal of the literature. A case study demonstrates how the algorithm results in a consistent approach for identifying symptoms, applying appropriate management strategies, and facilitating appropriate timing of medical consultation. Application to managing gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in the neonatal intensive care unit will be briefly addressed.