Oral hyperalimentation and the prevention of severe weight loss in burned patients
It is well known that the marked hypermetabolic response of the human body to thermal injury requires aggressive nutritional support. In order to minimize catabolic conditions resulting in severe weight loss, an oral hyperalimentation regimen has been successfully implemented in the burns unit of Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town. Ninety-eight patients with deep burns, varying from 20 per cent to more than 60 per cent of body surface area, were included in this study. The results indicated a general increase in the percentage of patients who gained weight from week to week after week 2 post-burn in all burns categories. An exception was the 60 per cent and more burns category in which an increasing number of patients lost weight until week 4 post-burn. The results of this study and the apparent discrepancy in the above 60 per cent category are presented.