Nutrition Support in Intensive Care

  • Susan E. Schaefer
  • David L. Burns


Nutritional support of the critically ill patient is an important aspect of medical care and universally applicable to all hospitalized patients. Malnutrition is prevalent in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) and can impair vital organ function, depress immune status, prolong ventilator dependence, and increase infection and mortality rates.1–4 In surgical patients, a preoperative weight loss of greater than 10% of usual body weight has been associated with increased postoperative complications such as pneumonia, wound infection, longer length of stay, and increased mortality5–7 The goal of nutritional support in the critically ill patient is to support wound healing and immune function, and prevent malnutrition and its comorbid consequences. Meeting the elevated nutritional requirements of critically ill patients while avoiding the metabolic complications can be difficult. This chapter addresses the many challenges of feeding the SICU patient and provides guidelines for safe and effective nutritional support.


Parenteral Nutrition Enteral Nutrition Nutritional Support Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Enteral Feeding 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan E. Schaefer
    • 1
  • David L. Burns
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition ServiceLahey Clinic Medical CenterBurlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Director of Nutritional Support, Lahey Clinic Medical CenterTufts University School of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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