Yamamoto S, Allen K, Jones KR, Cohen SS, Reyes K, Huhmann MB. 2020. Meeting calorie and protein needs in the critical care unit: A prospective observational pilot study. Nutr Metab Insights 13:1–7; doi: 10.1177/1178638820905992.
Inadequate calorie and protein intake during critical illness is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Unfortunately, most critically ill patients do not consume adequate levels of these nutrients. An enteral formula with appropriate macronutrient composition may assist patients in meeting nutritional goals.
This study was a single center, prospective, observational study of 29 adults in the medical intensive care unit who required enteral nutrition for at least 3 days. Subjects received a calorically dense, enzymatically hydrolyzed 100% whey peptide-based enteral formula for up to 5 days to assess the ability to achieve 50% of caloric goals within the first 3 days (primary outcome), the daily percentage of protein goals attained and gastrointestinal tolerance (secondary outcomes).
A total of 29 subjects consented and began the study. Four subjects dropped out before first day and 25 subjects were included in analyses. Subjects were aged 55.5 ± 16.9 years with mean body mass index (BMI) of 27.9 ± 7.5 kg/m2. Most (92%) subjects were on a mechanical ventilator and experienced organ failure. At least 50% of caloric and protein goals were achieved in 78.9% and 73.7% of the subjects, respectively, during the first 3 days. Overall, 75.0 ± 26.3% and 69.3 ± 26.7% of calorie and protein goals were achieved using the study formula.
Subjects fed enterally with a calorically dense, enzymatically hydrolyzed 100% whey peptide-based enteral formula exceeded 50% of caloric and protein goals in most critically ill subjects included in this study. Use of study formula did not lead to severe gastrointestinal intolerance.