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Although clinical and experimental evidence favours early enteral feeding in the critically injured, provision of such enteral feeds can be difficult. Gastric feeds are often not tolerated and may lead to aspiration. An intolerance of gastric feeds leads to a cumulative energy and protein deficit and may result in the initiation of expensive parenteral nutrition (TPN). An alternative and under-utilized technique to ensure enteral access in trauma victims is the insertion of a transpyloric (nasojejunal) feeding tube during emergent laparotomy. We have employed this method of enteral access with success. In the following report, we describe this technique, provide an illustrative case with a cost comparison between nasojejunal feeds and TPN, present the rationale for such a mode of enteral access and outline the indications and contraindications. Enteral access by the intra-operative insertion of a transpyloric feeding tube allows immediate/early enteral feeding that is easy, safe, reliable and inexpensive.
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Accepted: November 22, 1994
© 1995 Published by Elsevier Inc.