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Enteral nutrition in intensive care patients: a practical approach

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Abstract

Severe protein-calorie malnutrition is a major problem in many intensive care (ICU) patients due to the increased catabolic state often associated with acute severe illness and the frequent presence of prior chronic wasting conditions. Nutritional support is thus an important part of the management of these patients. Over the years, enteral nutrition (EN) has gained considerable popularity, due to its favorable effects on the digestive tract and its lower cost and rate of complications compared to parenteral nutrition. However, clinicians caring for ICU patients are often faced with contradictory data and difficult decisions when having to determine the optimal timing and modalities of EN administration, estimation of patient requirements, and choice of formulas. The purpose of this paper is to provide practical guidelines on these various aspects of enteral nutritional support, based on presently available evidence.

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Jolliet, P., Pichard, C., Biolo, G. et al. Enteral nutrition in intensive care patients: a practical approach. Intensive Care Med 24, 848–859 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001340050677

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