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Nutrition key in brain injury outcome

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Patients with traumatic brain injury should receive a gastric feeding tube as soon as possible, say US specialists.

They compared outcomes in 797 patients in 2000–2006.

The earlier patients received feeding tubes and the more calories they ingested the better their likelihood of survival. Best outcomes were seen with a minimum of 25kcal/kg a day.

‘For a long time, clinicians thought IV fluids were enough but now we know this level of care is not meeting the requirement the body needs to repair itself following extreme trauma,’ they said.

Journal of Neurosurgery (2008) 109: 50–56

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