NUTRITION AND THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT: Edited by Michael P. Casaer and Adam M. DeaneSmall bowel feeding: do you pay the price for bypassing the stomach?Bond, Ashleya; Czapran, Adamb; Lal, Simona,c Author Information aIntestinal Failure Unit, Salford Royal Foundation Trust, Salford bDepartment of Critical Care, Kings College NHS Foundation Trust, London cUniversity of Manchester, Manchester, UK Correspondence to Ashley Bond, Intestinal Failure Unit, Salford Royal Foundation Trust, Stott Lane, Salford, UK. E-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: March 2022 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 116-121 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000804 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Hydration and nutritional support is a vital part of medical care, thus a clear understanding of the optimal approach is vital for medical professionals. This is a particularly pertinent issue for patients admitted to a critical care setting. This article aims to define the advantages and disadvantages of gastric and postpyloric feeding in the critical care setting, thus aiding decision-making for clinicians. Recent findings Within the article, the main themes covered are those relating to enteral feeding tube placement, the impact of enteral feeding route on ventilator-associated pneumonia, optimization of enteral tube feeding in critical care and the impact that a chosen route may have upon gastrointestinal function. Summary The value of enteral feeding in critical illness is proven beyond doubt and the simplest approach has long been ‘if the gut works, use it’. If gastric feeding is not able to be established or is not tolerated then jejunal feeding should be considered as a preferable alternative to parenteral nutrition. Improving access to service or techniques for postpyloric tube placement would assist in optimizing nutritional support in the critical care setting. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.