Refeeding Syndrome and Hypophosphatemi

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Hypophosphatemia is a potentially life-threatening complication of reinstating nutrition in a malnourished patient. Refeeding syndrome is a term that refers to various metabolic abnormalities that may complicate carbohydrate administration in subnourished patient populations. Hypophosphatemia is the most well-known, and perhaps most significant, element of the refeeding syndrome and may result in sudden death, rhabdomyolysis, red cell dysfunction, and respiratory insufficiency. This review briefly examines refeeding-induced hypophosphatemia in the hospitalized patient in hopes of making clinicians more aware of this common, but often overlooked, potentially dangerous problem.

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