Last updated on April 2018

Non-inferiority Study of the Pursuit of Enteral Nutrition Compared to a Strategy of Gastric Emptiness Peri-extubation. Cluster Randomized Trial


Brief description of study

Approximately 50 to 60% of ICU patients are subjected to invasive mechanical ventilation-through a tracheal tube. Extubation consists of a key moment for the patient on the road to recovery (1). The extubation failure, is a major disease event. The incidence of extubation failure vary between studies between 10% and 20% of ventilated patients over 48 hours, it is therefore a significant risk including at the individual level. Ultimately, it is observed higher mortality for patients with unsuccessful extubation and this independently of their overall severity (2,3). Among the complications associated with extubation failure observed the occurrence of nosocomial pneumonia. Large-scale epidemiological data, covering nearly half of French ICUs found a risk of nosocomial pneumonia multiplied by a factor of 3 in case of extubation failure. Observing this strong association between nosocomial pneumonia and extubation failure does not presage a causal link. In all cases the onset of pneumonia probably involved in the morbidity and mortality of patients undergoing a failed extubation(4).

Prevention of inhalation may limit congestion and bronchial and lung infection, and thereby reduce the risk of extubation failure. Indeed, the primary pathophysiologic mechanism responsible for nosocomial bronchopulmonary infection is inhalation of oropharyngeal and digestive secretions (5).

This risk of inhalation during intubation motivates the implementation of fasting prior to general anesthesia for elective surgery patients. Indeed, it is recommended to respect a 6-hour fast for solids and 2 hours for liquid (water, fruit juices without pulp, tea or coffee without milk) in this situation (9).

Although the situations are very different from the context of programmed anesthesia and extubation followed by a possible emergency reintubation on failure of extubation in the context of resuscitation, fasting appears as a potential means of limit the inhalation during the period of risk posed extubation and reintubation eventual resuscitation. Nevertheless, it is doubtful of the effectiveness of the single fasting to ensure gastric emptiness during the period of extubation. Indeed, a very large proportion of patients presents the delayed gastric emptying causing prolonged gastric fluid stasis. (10).

Fasting and aspiration of gastric contents through a stomach tube has not, to our knowledge, never been rigorously evaluated in the ICU extubation.

Moreover, the setting of fasting patients is likely to induce significant side effects first and foremost, a charge extra care for paramedics. The other major effect is the calorie deficit induced potential source of infectious complications and a delay in extubation.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03335345

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