There is a consensus that nutritional support, which must be provided to patients in intensive care, influences their clinical outcome. Malnutrition is associated in critically ill patients with impaired immune function and impaired ventilator drive, leading to prolonged ventilator dependence and increased infectious morbidity and mortality. Enteral nutrition is an active therapy that attenuates the metabolic response of the organism to stress and favorably modulates the immune system. It is less expensive than parenteral nutrition and is preferred in most cases because of less severe complications and better patient outcomes, including infections, and hospital cost and length of stay. The aim of this work was to perform a review of the use of enteral nutrition in critically ill patients.
Keywords: Critical care; Critical ill; Enteral feeding; Enteral nutrition; Intensive care; Nutritional support.