Canadian critical care nutrition guidelines

Additional analyses of data from the CALORIES trial supported guidelines on feeding critically ill patients.

About the guidelines

The Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee first produced Clinical Practice Guidelines on nutritional support for critically ill adults in 2003. These guidelines were updated in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2018. The guidelines bring together all the information from randomized clinical trials of nutritional (feeding) interventions in critical care to help guide the best way to feed patients during their time in critical care.

How ICNARC data were used

For the 2015 update of the Clinical Practice Guidelines, the committee requested additional analyses from the CALORIES trial, which compared feeding via the enteral route (through a tube into the stomach) or the parenteral route (directly into the bloodstream). Although there were 17 trials contributing information to the guidelines on enteral vs parenteral feeding, the CALORIES trial was by far the largest, contributing more than two thirds of all the patients for this comparison and confirming that enteral nutrition was safe and associated with shorter stays in intensive care. These conclusions were unchanged with the addition of another large trial in the 2018 update to the guidelines.