Enhanced Protein-Energy Provision Via the Enteral Route in Critically Ill Patients

2014-07-23 21:09:34 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this pilot study is to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of a new feeding protocol, "The Enhanced Protein-Energy Provision via the Enteral Route in Critically Ill Patients: The PEP uP protocol."


There is a well known and well described relationship between malnutrition, immune dysfunction, and infection. Critically ill patients are often hypermetabolic and can rapidly become nutritionally compromised. Repeated efforts over the past few years have not significantly improved the amount of calories delivered via the enteral route. Historically, feeding protocols have been used to guide the delivery of enteral nutrition (EN) but they frequently utilize conservative, reactionary approaches to optimizing nutrition.

We propose a new approach that protocolizes an aggressive approach to providing EN and shifts the paradigm from reactionary to proactive followed by de-escalation if nutrition therapy is not needed. The key components of this new protocol are the following: 1) Starting feeds at the target rate based on increasing evidence that some patients tolerate starting nutrition at higher rate of delivery and that slow start ups are not necessary. For patients who are hemodynamically stable, we propose to shift from an hourly rate target goal to a 24 hour volume goal and give nurses guidance on how to make up this volume if there was an interruption for non-gastrointestinal reasons. This 'volume-based' goal represents a significant shift in practice from traditional hourly rate goals in which nurses can increase the hourly rate depending on how many hours they have left in the day to ensure that the patient receives the 24 hour volume within the day. 2) For patients who are deemed unsuitable for high volume intragastric feeds, we provide an option to initiate 'trophic feeds' at a low volume of a concentrated feeding solution. By 'trophic', we mean a minimal volume of EN designed to maintain gastrointestinal structure and function, not designed to meet the patients caloric or protein needs. When deemed suitable, trophic feeds can be advanced to full feeds. 3) Rather than wait for a protein debt to accumulate because of inadequate delivery of EN, protein supplements are prescribed at initiation of EN and can be discontinued if EN is well tolerated. 4) We propose to start motility agents at the same time EN is started with a re-evaluation in the days following to see if it is necessary and we raised our gastric residual volume threshold from 200 to 250 ml. It has been shown in one randomized trial that a feeding protocol that starts a motility agent empirically at the time of initiation of feeds and uses a higher threshold for a critical gastric residual volume (250 ml) improves nutritional adequacy.

Since the bedside nurses initiate and utilize feeding protocols to achieve target goals, we will couple this newer generational feeding protocol with a comprehensive nurse-directed nutritional educational intervention that will focus on its safe and effective implementation. This focus on nursing nutrition education represents a major shift away from traditional education which has focused on dietitians and physicians.

We hypothesize that the combination of these components will safely improve the provision of energy and protein compared to usual care. We postulate that this increased provision of calories and protein may translate into improved clinical outcomes, particularly for the patients at the extremes of weight, but the current study is not powered to demonstrate such a difference. The purpose of this pilot study is to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of this new feeding protocol, "The Enhanced Protein-Energy Provision via the Enteral Route in Critically Ill Patients: The PEP uP protocol."

Study Design

Control: Historical Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care


Critically Ill


PEP-uP Protocol


Kingston General Hospital
K7L 2V7




Clinical Evaluation Research Unit at Kingston General Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:09:34-0400

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