Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is a good alternative that provides long-term nutritional support and is associated with minimal morbidity.During a 24-month period, we studied 54 critically injured patients who underwent early PEG to provide enteral nutritional support. Patients were selected due to the inability to tolerate intake by mouth secondary to multiple associated injuries, especially to the central nervous system.All patients sustained multiple injuries with an average Injury Severity Score of 27. The mean Glasgow Coma Scale at the time of admission was 7 and at the time of the PEG was 10. Eleven patients (20%) had an intracranial pressure (ICP) device, and there was no significant increase in the mean ICP before, during, or after the procedure. In 63% of patients, tube feedings were interrupted for a variety of problems in the 72 h preceding the PEG, and in 70% of patients an average of five radiographs were obtained to document tube position. In 95% of patients, the nutritional goal was achieved within 48 h of PEG placement. There were one immediate and two delayed complications after PEG placement. There were two deaths, neither related to the PEG placement.Early PEG in critically injured patients is a safe and effective method of providing access to the GI tract for nutritional support. In patients with significant brain injuries, adequate sedation and the presence of an ICP monitor help to minimize secondary insults to the brain.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997YE02000004
View details for PubMedID 9348375