Early versus delayed enteral nutrition support for burn injuries

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This systematic review has not found sufficient evidence to support or refute the effectiveness of early versus late enteral nutrition support in adults with burn injury. The trials showed some promising results that would suggest early enteral nutrition support may blunt the hypermetabolic response to thermal injury, but this is insufficient to provide clear guidelines for practice.

A burn injury increases the body’s metabolic demands, and therefore nutritional requirements. Provision of an adequate supply of nutrients is believed to lower the incidence of metabolic abnormalities, thus reducing septic morbidity, improving survival rates, and decreasing hospital length of stay. Enteral nutrition support is the best feeding method for patients who are unable to achieve an adequate oral intake to maintain gastrointestinal functioning; however, its timing (i.e. early versus late) needs to be established. This review assesses the effectiveness and safety of early versus late enteral nutrition support in adults with burn injury.

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