Tessa Breeding, Hazem Nasef, Heli Patel, Muhammad Usman Awan, Brian Chin, Francis Cruz, Tracy Zito, Chadwick P. Smith, Adel Elkbuli

Clinical Outcomes of Early Versus Late Enteral Nutrition Support in Critically Ill Trauma Patients With Isolated Traumatic Brain Injury

  • General Medicine

Introduction This study aims to compare the impact of early initiation of enteral feeding initiation on clinical outcomes in critically ill adult trauma patients with isolated traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Methods A retrospective cohort analysis of the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Program Participant Use File 2017-2021 dataset of critically ill adult trauma patients with moderate to severe blunt isolated TBI. Outcomes included ICU length of stay (ICU-LOS), ventilation-free days (VFD), and complication rates. Timing cohorts were defined as very early (<6 hours), early (6-24 hours), intermediate (24-48 hours), and late (>48 hours). Results 9210 patients were included in the analysis, of which 952 were in the very early enteral feeding initiation group, 652 in the early, 695 in intermediate, and 6938 in the late group. Earlier feeding was associated with significantly shorter ICU-LOS (very early: 7.82 days; early: 11.28; intermediate 12.25; late 17.55; P < .001) and more VFDs (very early: 21.72 days; early: 18.81; intermediate 18.81; late 14.51; P < .001). Patients with late EF had a significantly higher risk of VAP than very early (OR .21, CI 0.12-.38, P < .001) or early EF (OR .33, CI 0.17-.65, P = .001), and higher risk of ARDS than the intermediate group (OR .23, CI 0.05-.925, P = .039). Conclusion Early enteral feeding in critically ill adult trauma patients with moderate to severe isolated TBI resulted in significantly fewer days in the ICU, more ventilation-free days, and lower odds of VAP and ARDS the sooner enteral feeding was initiated, with the most optimized outcomes within 6 hours.

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