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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-44

Enteral nutrition practices in the intensive care unit: Understanding of nursing practices and perspectives


Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Pramendra Agrawal
Anaesthesiology, A-148, Sector-15, Noida 201 301, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.92433

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Background: Adequate nutritional support is important for the comprehensive management of patients in intensive care units (ICUs). Aim: The study was aimed to survey prevalent enteral nutrition practices in the trauma intensive care unit, nurses' perception, and their knowledge of enteral feeding. Study Design: The study was conducted in the ICU of a level 1 trauma center, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, India. The study design used an audit. Materials and Methods: Sixty questionnaires were distributed and the results analyzed. A database was prepared and the audit was done. Results: Forty-two (70%) questionnaires were filled and returned. A majority (38) of staff nurses expressed awareness of nutrition guidelines. A large number (32) of staff nurses knew about nutrition protocols of the ICU. Almost all (40) opined enteral nutrition to be the preferred route of nutrition unless contraindicated. All staff nurses were of opinion that enteral nutrition is to be started at the earliest (within 24-48 h of the ICU stay). Everyone opined that the absence of bowel sounds is an absolute contraindication to initiate enteral feeding. Passage of flatus was considered mandatory before starting enteral nutrition by 86% of the respondents. Everyone knew that the method of Ryle's tube feeding in their ICU is intermittent boluses. Only 4 staff nurses were unaware of any method to confirm Ryle's tube position. The backrest elevation rate was 100%. Gastric residual volumes were always checked, but the amount of the gastric residual volume for the next feed to be withheld varied. The majority said that the unused Ryle's tube feed is to be discarded after 6 h. The most preferred (48%) method to upgrade their knowledge of enteral nutrition was from the ICU protocol manual. Conclusion: Information generated from this study can be helpful in identifying nutrition practices that are lacking and may be used to review and revise enteral feeding practices where necessary.


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