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September 1980

Prevention of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Burn PatientsA Role for 'Elemental' Diet

Author Affiliations

From the Burn Center (Drs Choctaw and Zawacki), Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (Ms Fujita), Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1980;115(9):1073-1076. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380090047011

• In a retrospective study, the role of the elemental diet in preventing upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding was evaluated in 146 severely burned patients. The patients were divided into two groups. Group A consisted of 77 patients with 20% to 80% body-surface-area burns who received the usual diet. Group B consisted of 69 patients with similar-sized burns receiving Vivonex as the elemental diet. In group A, the incidence of upper GI bleeding was 44%, major upper GI bleeding was 30%, and two patients required surgery. The incidence of upper GI bleeding in group B was 20%, major upper GI bleeding was 3%, and no patients required surgery. Group A had 55% mortality, and group B, 38% mortality. Vivonex was associated with a noticeable decrease in major upper GI bleeding in severely burned patients, and unlike antacid and cimetidine therapy, contributed concomitantly to increased caloric intake.

(Arch Surg 115:1073-1076, 1980)