versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611
Critically ill patients may have gastrointestinal complications during hospital stay. The most clinically important complications are gastrointestinal hemorrhage and enteral nutrition-related complications. Currently, gastrointestinal hemorrhage is uncommon due to the use of medication protecting the gastric mucosa and the increasingly frequent use of enteral nutrition. Although GI hemorrhage makes necessary the modification of the type of nutritional support until the bleeding is under control, there are situations in which the hemorrhage does note necessarily imply fasting. Among enteral nutrition-related complications, the increase in gastric residue is the most frequent one. This high frequency is due to impairments in gastric motility induced by severe disease itself and therapeutic measures applied to patients, such the medication administered. The use of pro-kinetic drugs seems to be a useful measure for preventing and treating the increase in gastric residue, although in refractory cases transpyloric nutrition may be necessary. The presence of gastrointestinal complications has a negative effect on the amount of diet administered to the patients, with subsequent increase in infectious complications, hospital stay, and mortality. The use of identification protocols and appropriate management of gastrointestinal complications in critically ill patients may be beneficial in their clinical course.
Palabras clave : Critically ill patient; Enteral nutrition; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage.