The safety of rapid administration of enteral nutrition in acute stroke patients


Early initiation of enteral nutrition (EN) is recommended for acute stroke patients,
but it is time-consuming. Reducing EN administration time without increasing the frequency
of complications is a worthwhile goal. We aimed to determine whether this goal was


Consecutive acute stroke patients with severe dysphagia within 72 h of hospital admission
who received EN were retrospectively enrolled. Patients were classified into two groups
(Rapid administration group: 100 mL/5 min on days 1–3 after stroke onset and 200 mL/30 min
on days 4–7, Conventional administration group: 100 mL/h on days 1–3 and 200 mL/h
on days 4–7).


Among 118 consecutive acute stroke patients, 71 patients [median age, 77 (68–82) years;
37 (52%) males] were enrolled. The baseline clinical characteristics of the rapid
administration group (45 patients) and the conventional administration group (26 patients)
did not differ. The total duration of EN administration in the first week after stroke
onset was significantly longer in the conventional vs. rapid administration group
[21 (15–21) h vs. 6 (2–8) h, p < 0.01]. There were no significant differences in the frequency of diarrhea (42%
vs. 42%, p = 1.00), vomiting (0% vs. 7%, p = 0.29), or pneumonia (15% vs. 7%, p = 0.41). There was also no difference in the percentage of patients with one or more
complications (54% vs. 49%, p = 0.81).


Rapid administration of EN is safe and has the potential to decrease the time required
for EN feeding.

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