An Intralipid-based intravenous feeding mixture has been given to 20 patients with serious gastrointestinal disease who required parenteral nutritional support (mean duration 13.75 days). In half of the patients, only peripheral veins were used for infusion (mean duration 12 days), the infusion site being changed every 24-48 hr. Positive nitrogen balance was maintained in all but one individual and other parameters of nutrition improved. No serious complications due to intravenous feeding were encountered, although some patients did develop abnormal liver function tests and mild phlebitis at the peripheral vein infusion site. No abnormalities of pulmonary gas exchange attributable to the infusion were noted. We conclude that this mixture is safe, relatively simple to use and effective. Consequently, it may be especially appropriate for patients in general medical and surgical wards as well as those in specialist units.
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