Nutritional therapy in the intensive care unit exerts favourable effects on morbidity and mortality. - Enteral nutrition is preferable to parenteral nutrition. Only perforation or total obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, proven mesenteric ischaemia and toxic megacolon are absolute contra-indications to enteral nutrition. - Early enteral nutrition is effective in decreasing infectious complications and reducing the length of stay in the hospital. - Nutrition that is enriched with specific ingredients in order to modulate the immune response is referred to as immunonutrition. The use of immunonutrition, notably in surgical intensive care patients, has a favourable effect on the incidence of infectious complications, the duration of artificial respiration and the length of hospital stay. - The addition of glutamine to parenteral nutrition may reduce mortality compared to standard parenteral nutrition. - Implementation of a simple feeding algorithm in the intensive care unit, with special attention for the treatment of delayed gastric emptying, is cost-effective and leads to an improvement in the nutritional parameters.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 29 May 2004|