In this study, doctors from New Zealand examined whether enteral feeding is safe in the acute stage of spinal cord injury.
The team searched a patient database and clinical records for all patients with spinal cord injuries admitted to the Auckland Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU), between 1988 and 2000.
The patients were included in the study if they had suffered complete spinal cord transection resulting in either paraplegia or quadriplegia.
|82% of patients commenced enteral feeding.|
The team noted the length of time to commence enteral feeding, type of enteral feeding, duration of enteral feeding and reasons for interrupting the feed.
The team included 33 patients in this study.
They found that 82% of patients commenced enteral feeding; 25 via nasogastric (NG) tube and 2 via nasojejunal (NJ) tube.
The team calculated that feeding was commenced a median of 2 days after admission. The median length of enteral feeding was 7.7 days.
They established that the main reason for feed interruption was high gastric aspirates.
Dr Rowan's team concluded, "No major complications associated with enteral feeding were seen in this study".
"This would indicate that enteral feeding can be safely administered in the acute stage of spinal cord injury provided complications are monitored for daily."