Over the past 10 years, several clinical and experimental studies report the potential benefit of enteral nutrition as primary therapy after multiple system trauma. In this study, 98 patients sustaining blunt and penetrating trauma were randomised to receive either enteral or parenteral feeding for 15 days. There were significantly fewer infectious complications in patients randomised to receive enteral feeding with particular benefit shown in the most severely injured patients. Serum protein concentrations correlated with the clinical outcome with an increase in constitutive protein and decrease in acute phase protein concentrations occurring in the enteral group through a decrease in septic complications and possible direct hepatic 'reprioritisation'. Enteral feeding serves as a primary therapy affecting the outcome of critically ill patients.
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