Management of multiple enterocutaneous fistulas

Heart Lung. 1989 Jul;18(4):386-90.


Enterocutaneous fistulas present a difficult management problem in the intensive care unit. Although some patients require surgical intervention for fistula control, key elements to good clinical management include mechanical control and vigorous nutritional support. This approach includes eradication of malnutrition, support of the hypercatabolic state, and maintenance or replacement of protein loss from fistula drainage. Good mechanical control involves integument protection and a mechanism of drainage collection. The patient we describe taxed the ingenuity and creativity of all those concerned with his care. Modification of a previously described technique to protect surrounding skin and collect fistula output served as a simple and inexpensive approach to eliminate infection potential, improve the patient's comfort, and decrease the nursing time that would have been required for frequent, complex dressing changes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Fistula / nursing*
  • Intestinal Fistula / pathology
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / nursing*
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / nursing