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Trace Elements in Critically Ill Patients

Boullata, Joseph I. PharmD, RPh, BCNSP

doi: 10.1097/NAN.0b013e3182787504

Trace elements are important nutrients for the critically ill patient. These minerals are routinely included in enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition regimens. There are 5 individual trace elements (chromium, copper, manganese, selenium, and zinc) that are available for intravenous use as separate infusions when necessary based on a thorough clinical assessment. Intravenous administration of trace elements will improve measured biomarkers and may also improve patient outcome. The selected regimen for each trace element is based on the patient presentation and the available evidence.

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Clinical Nutrition Support Services, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Joseph I. Boullata, PharmD, RPh, BCNSP, is professor of pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a pharmacy specialist in nutrition support at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Boullata is a board-certified nutrition-support pharmacy specialist.

Corresponding Author: Joseph I. Boullata, PharmD, RPh, BCNSP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (

The author of this article has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© Copyright 2013 by the Infusion Nurses Society