Critical Care Nutrition: Getting Involved as a Gastrointestinal Endoscopist

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Abstract

The route, timing, and volume of enteral feeding delivered to a patient in the intensive care unit have a profound effect on clinical outcome. At the height of critical illness, problems with ileus, aspiration, and the systemic inflammatory response syndrome make the provision of enteral nutrients a difficult and somewhat risky endeavor. The gastrointestinal endoscopist has the technical skills to place feeding tubes deep within the jejunum and an underlying expertise in gut physiology to monitor patients effectively once feeds are initiated. Attention to detail in the techniques for attaining enteral access, early identification of potential problems, and quick institution of simple endoscopic strategies help improve delivery of nutrition support, minimize the likelihood for in-hospital complications, and optimize patient outcome.

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