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Enteral Feeding During Operative Procedures in Thermal Injuries

Jenkins Marilyn E. RN MBA; Gottschlich, Michele M. PhD, RD; Warden, Glenn D. MD
Journal of Burn Care & Research: March-April 1994
Features: Nutrition Forum: PDF Only

Multiple surgical procedures necessitated by thermal trauma traditionally require withholding nutritional support during the perioperative period. Significant caloric deficits develop with subsequent catabolism of body tissues to provide energy and amino acids for the synthesis of protein. Eighty patients, matched for age and total body surface area burn, were enrolled in a study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of providing enteral support throughout operative procedures. All patients had duodenal feeding tubes placed under fluoroscopy and were provided with isonitrogenous nutritional support calculated to meet measured energy needs (indirect calorimetry). Forty patients received enteral support throughout 161 surgical procedures, and 40 had enteral support withheld during 129 procedures. Age, incidence of inhalation injury, percentage of total body surface area, and postburn day of admission were similar in both groups. Nutritional parameters, calorie counts, and infectious complications were recorded during the first 4 weeks after burn. No patient in either group experienced aspiration. The unfed group demonstrated a significant caloric deficit (p<0.006) and increased incidence of wound infection (p<0.02) and required more albumin supplementation to maintain serum levels at a minimum of 2.5 gm/dl {p<0.04). Enteral nutrition can be provided safely during the perioperative period and provides the additional benefits of reducing caloric deficits, wound infections, and exogenous albumin supplementation.

©1994The American Burn Association