Nutritional Support and the Surgical Patient

Yvonne Huckleberry

Disclosures

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004;61(7) 

In This Article

Disease Process

The disease process must also be considered when discussing NS options for a specific patient. Both PN and EN support impose risks of complications that may outweigh the benefits in some patients. Clinicians must evaluate several factors, including the patient's wishes and prognosis, the severity of illness, the anticipated duration of inadequate oral intake, the risks associated with NS access and infusion, and the potential effects of not providing nutrition.

PN and EN Composition

Over the past decades of NS research and experience, accumulating evidence has indicated that the composition and quantity of NS may influence important clinical and biochemical markers, such as glycemic control, respiratory drive, and immune function. As key players that influence these variables have been identified, special products have been formulated and marketed for specific patient populations. These specialty products can be markedly more expensive than standard formulas. Therefore, clinicians are challenged to evaluate not only appropriate macro- and micronutrient requirements but also whether the cost of specialty products can be justified in terms of patient outcomes.

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