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Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;29(2):210-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2009.08.004. Epub 2009 Aug 26.

Before-after study of a standardized ICU protocol for early enteral feeding in patients turned in the prone position.

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Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit, District Hospital Center, La Roche-sur-Yon, France; Clinical Research Unit, District Hospital Center, La Roche-sur-Yon, France.



To evaluate an intervention for improving the delivery of early enteral nutrition (EN) in patients receiving mechanical ventilation with prone positioning (PP).


Eligible patients receiving EN and mechanical ventilation in PP were included within 48h after intubation in a before-after study. Patients were semi-recumbent when supine. Intolerance to EN was defined as residual gastric volume greater than 250ml/6h or vomiting. In the before group (n=34), the EN rate was increased by 500ml every 24h up to 2000ml/24h; patients were flat when prone and received erythromycin (250mgIV/6h) to treat intolerance. In the intervention group (n=38), the EN rate was increased by 25ml/h every 6h to 85ml/h, 25 degrees head elevation was used in PP, and prophylactic erythromycin was started at the first turn.


Compared to the before group, larger feeding volumes were delivered in the intervention group (median volume per day with PP, 774ml [IQR 513-925] vs. 1170ml [IQR 736-1417]; P<0.001) without increases in residual gastric volume, vomiting, or ventilator-associated pneumonia.


An intervention including PP with 25 degrees elevation, an increased acceleration to target rate of EN, and erythromycin improved EN delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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