Does artificial nutrition improve outcome of critical illness? An alternative viewpoint!
Recent studies challenge the beneficial role of artificial nutrition provided to critically ill patients and point out the limitations of existing studies in this area. We take a differing view of the existing data and refute many of the arguments put forward by previous authors. We review the mechanistic, observational, and experimental data supporting a role for early enteral nutrition in the critically ill patient. We conclude without question that more, high-quality research is needed to better define the role of artificial nutrition in the critical care setting, but until then early and adequate delivery of enteral nutrition is a legitimate, evidence-based treatment recommendation and we see no evidence-based role for restricting enteral nutrition in critically ill patients. The role of early supplemental parenteral nutrition continues to be defined as new data emerge.
Heyland, DK; Wischmeyer, PE
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