Mortality rates in the Intensive Care Unit and subsequent hospital mortality rates in the UK remain high. Infections in Intensive Care are associated with a 2-3 times increased risk of death. It is thought that under conditions of severe metabolic stress glutamine becomes "conditionally essential". Selenium is an essential trace element that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Approximately 23% of patients in Intensive Care require parenteral nutrition and glutamine and selenium are either absent or present in low amounts. Both glutamine and selenium have the potential to influence the immune system through independent biochemical pathways. Systematic reviews suggest that supplementing parenteral nutrition in critical illness with glutamine or selenium may reduce infections and mortality. Pilot data has shown that more than 50% of participants developed infections, typically resistant organisms. We are powered to show definitively whether supplementation of PN with either glutamine or selenium is effective at reducing new infections in critically ill patients.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|