Review: supplemented enteral nutrition reduces infectious complications and length of hospital stay in patients with critical illness
QUESTION: Among patients with critical illness, does enteral nutrition supplemented with key nutrients compared with standard enteral nutrition reduce infectious complications, death, and length of hospital stay?
Studies published in peer reviewed journals from 1990 to February 1998 were identified by searching Medline, doing handsearches of journals, and reviewing bibliographies of relevant articles.
Randomised controlled trials were included if they compared the effects of enteral nutrition supplemented with key nutrients with standard enteral nutrition in patients who were critically ill.
Data were extracted on patient conditions; timing of initiation of feeding; supplemented nutrients, nutritional goals, achieved intake, and weight loss before study; and power calculations. Main outcomes were major infectious complications (wound infection, intra-abdominal abscess, pneumonia, and septicaemia), nosocomial pneumonia alone, death, and length of …