Risks in Management of Enteral Nutrition in Intensive Care Units: A Literature Review and Narrative Synthesis.

Hoffmann, Magdalena; Schwarz, Christine Maria; Fürst, Stefan; Starchl, Christina; Lobmeyr, Elisabeth; Sendlhofer, Gerald; Jeitziner, Marie-Madlen (2021). Risks in Management of Enteral Nutrition in Intensive Care Units: A Literature Review and Narrative Synthesis. Nutrients, 13(1), p. 82. Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI 10.3390/nu13010082

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Critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) have a high risk of developing malnutrition, and this is associated with poorer clinical outcomes. In clinical practice, nutrition, including enteral nutrition (EN), is often not prioritized. Resulting from this, risks and safety issues for patients and healthcare professionals can emerge. The aim of this literature review, inspired by the Rapid Review Guidebook by Dobbins, 2017, was to identify risks and safety issues for patient safety in the management of EN in critically ill patients in the ICU. Three databases were used to identify studies between 2009 and 2020. We assessed 3495 studies for eligibility and included 62 in our narrative synthesis. Several risks and problems were identified: No use of clinical assessment or screening nutrition assessment, inadequate tube management, missing energy target, missing a nutritionist, bad hygiene and handling, wrong time management and speed, nutritional interruptions, wrong body position, gastrointestinal complication and infections, missing or not using guidelines, understaffing, and lack of education. Raising awareness of these risks is a central aspect in patient safety in ICU. Clinical experts can use a checklist with 12 identified top risks and the recommendations drawn up to carry out their own risk analysis in clinical practice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic of Intensive Care

UniBE Contributor:

Jeitziner, Marie-Madlen


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI




Jsabelle Arni

Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2021 14:20

Last Modified:

08 Jan 2021 14:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

enteral nutrition intensive care unit patient safety quality risk management





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