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Clinical Trial
, 10 (4), 309-13

Increased Mortality With Intravenous Supplemental Feeding in Severely Burned Patients

Clinical Trial

Increased Mortality With Intravenous Supplemental Feeding in Severely Burned Patients

D N Herndon et al. J Burn Care Rehabil.


Patients with large cutaneous burns are characterized by an elevated metabolic rate and lose up to 25% of their body weight within 3 weeks. A previous study suggested that intravenous supplementation to attain nutritional requirements was of no benefit in patients with cutaneous burns covering greater than 50% of their total body surface area. In this study 39 patients with burns greater than 50% of their total body surface area were randomly assigned to receive intravenous supplementation of enteral calories (n = 16) or enteral calories alone (n = 23). Intravenous supplementation decreased the amount of enteral calories that patients with burns could tolerate. The mortality rate was significantly higher (p less than 0.05) in the intravenously supplemented group at 63% as compared with 26% in the group receiving enteral calories alone. Both groups showed significant decrease in natural killer cell activity when compared with controls at both 0 to 7 and 7 to 14 days after injury. T cell helper/suppressor ratios were depressed in both groups when compared with controls; however, the intravenously supplemented group was significantly depressed at 7 to 14 days after burn. Both groups demonstrated hepatomegaly, moderate fatty infiltration, and cholestasis. It is suggested that intravenous supplementation should be carefully evaluated and used only in patients with total enteral failure.

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