Upping calories has no effect on ICU outcomes

Calorie-dense feedings fail to benefit critically ill patients on ventilators

Increasing the calories in enteral nutrition by 50% in mechanically ventilated ICU patients offers no survival benefit at 90 days, according to new research.

Studies have shown that ICU patients typically get less than 60% of the recommended energy intake, for reasons such as fasting for procedures, regurgitation and vomiting.

In the research involving 46 intensive-care units in Australia and New Zealand, all-cause mortality was 26.7% among the 1948 adults whose formula had 1.5 kcal/mL, compared with 25.7% among the 1966 whose formula had 1.0 kcal/mL.

The results were similar in seven predefined subgroups, the Australian and New Zealand researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Higher calorie delivery did not affect survival time, receipt of organ support, number of days alive and out of the ICU and hospital, or free of organ support&nbsp