Nutrition use and indications

Malnutrition leads to poor wound healing, post-operative complications and sepsis. Adequate nutritional support is important for critically ill patients and should be provided early during the illness. Evidence for improved outcome from early nutritional support exists for patients with trauma and burns. Enteral nutrition is indicated when swallowing is inadequate or impossible but gastrointestinal function is otherwise intact. Parenteral nutrition is indicated where the gastrointestinal tract cannot be used to provide adequate nutritional support, e.g. obstruction, ileus, high small bowel fistula or malabsorption. Parenteral nutrition may be used to supplement enteral nutrition where gastrointestinal function allows partial nutritional support.

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