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This randomised trial to assess risks associated with returning or discarding gastric residual volume (GRV) to tube-fed patients is similar to one reported in 2000 by Booker and colleagues. Although the current study had a larger sample size, neither study was able to provide definitive recommendations for practice.
The investigators randomised 125 critically ill adult patients to a ‘return’ or ‘discard’ group. The return group had up to 250 ml of gastric fluid returned to the stomach at each 6-hourly GRV measurement. Although not explicitly stated by the investigators, it appears that no gastric fluid was returned to subjects in the discard group. Outcome variables listed in the study's objectives were incidence of tube blockage, pulmonary aspiration, gastrointestinal intolerance (nausea, vomiting, abdominal distension and diarrhoea) and …
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