Sunday, 6 July 2008

Academic ramblings

Just a brief note. If you or a loved one have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) please make sure that they are fed within a day.

I'm reading an article and it seems that the nutritional needs of individuals with TBI are increased relative to those without injury (you and me) and that this need is not being met early enough. The article states "patients who were not fed within 5 and 7 days after TBI had a 2- and 4-fold increased likelihood of death, respectively." (5% were not fed within 7 days) No kidding - you don't feed them and they are more likely to die eh? I didn't know this was an issue. And a review cited in this paper found that early feeding may be associated with a trend towards better outcomes after TBI. Well, I'm glad the paper has been published so that protocols may change. Obviously they didn't randomly assign the patients to the feeding and no feeding conditions because of ethics so this is a correlational study - thus it doesn't say that lack of food causes an increase in mortality, but rather that they co-occur. But still...

Article:

Hartl, R., Gerber, L. M., Quanhong, N., & Ghajar, J. (2008). Effect of early nutrition on deaths due to severe traumatic brain injury. J Neurosurg. 109, 50-56.

Back to reading.

3 comments:

emma said...

Why aren't they feeding them? Is this a case of being in a coma or otherwise not alert and awake and so they are just on an iv? And how weird is it that these people are not being given intravenous nutrition? I guess I just assumed that those iv's were like, I don't know, filled with modern space-age fuel or something.

BrainandSpinalCord.org said...

It turns out that the supplemental feeding patients are getting now is just not enough. It's now recommended that patients receive extra nutrition through a gastric feeding tube. I have more information about this TBI development at my blog, feel free to stop in and join the discussion!

Amy Lane said...

Well that's good to know...