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Paper| Volume 29, ISSUE 1, P11-14, January 1998

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Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy for patients with severe cerebral injury

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      Abstract

      Early enteral nutrition improves the outcome of severely injured patients. To provide enteral nutrition, various methods are available. In a restrospective study we analysed the outcome of 24 severely traumatized patients (mean ISS = 44), in whom a perculaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) was used for enteral nutrition. All patients had been admitted to the intensive care unit with major cerebral injury. The mean duration of intensive care treatment and the in hospital stay were 28 and 71 days, respectively. PEG was introduced 14 days after hospital admittance. Enteral nutrition through the PEG was administered for 45 days. Four patients died, 8 patients were discharged from the hospital while being fed via the PEG and 12 patients resumed normal feeding and the PEG was removed. Three severe complications occurred; 1 patient aspirated massively and died; in 2 patients intra-abdominal leakage of the enteral nutrition occurred. Both patients recovered from this complication. We conclude that because of the advantages of early enteral nutrition on the one hand and the drawbacks of nasogastric feeding tubes on the other, in injured patients with severe cerebral damage, PEG placement is justified, despite the risk of complications.
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