Early nutritional support in the critically ill

Status: Published

What is this study about?

Patients who are unable to eat adequate amounts of food are given special liquid diets which contain all the essential nutrients they need. Liquid diets may be given either:

  • via a small tube passed into the stomach via the nose or mouth (enteral or tube feeding); or
  • via a small tube in a vein, directly into the bloodstream (parenteral or intravenous feeding).

CALORIES is a research study taking place in 34 critical care units in NHS hospitals throughout the UK to find out which of these methods used to feed critically ill patients is best for providing nutrition.

The study included 2,400 patients – 1,200 patients received tube feeding and 1,200 patients received intravenous feeding.

This study uses data from the Case Mix Programme.

When is it taking place?

The study started in June 2011 and finished recruitment in March 2014.

Who is leading the study?

Professor Kathy Rowan, ICNARC

Professor Michael Mythen, University College Hospital, London

This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme (Project: 07/52/03)

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