Feeding the Patient

  • Douglas W. Wilmore
Part of the Reviewing Surgical Topics book series (RST)


Starvation was the accepted practice for centuries in patients with fever, and this treatment frequently included water deprivation. Graves suggested that the deleterious effects of starvation compounded the consequences of disease, and recommended a diet for patients with hypermetabolism secondary to infection and thyrotoxicosis that was considered revolutionary for the times.1 Although the nutritional intake consisted of only sugar water, meat broths, toast crumbs, and jellies, and probably provided no more than 300 kcal/day, this meager oral diet therapy became the accepted means of nutritional support of the day. Graves was convinced of the value of nutrition for critically ill patients, and late in life, suggested that his own epitaph read “He Feeds Fever.” In the late 1800s, a milk diet for typhoid fever was proposed, and later, Peabody advocated the more liberal use of standard oral feedings. However, it was not until the classic studies of Coleman and DuBois in the early 1900s, that nutritional management of the critically ill patient was based on a firm foundation of scientific fact.2


Essential Amino Acid Nutritional Support Nitrogen Intake Nitrogen Balance Nitrogen Loss 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas W. Wilmore
    • 1
  1. 1.U. S. Army Institute of Surgical ResearchBrooke Army Medical CenterFort Sam HoustonUSA

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