Decrease in Frequency of Liquid Stool in Enterally Fed Critically Ill Patients Given the Multispecies Probiotic VSL#3: A Pilot Trial

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Title Decrease in Frequency of Liquid Stool in Enterally Fed Critically Ill Patients Given the Multispecies Probiotic VSL#3: A Pilot Trial
Author Frohmader, Terence J.; Chaboyer, Wendy; Robertson, Iain K.; Gowardman, John
Journal Name American Journal of Critical Care
Editor Cindy L. Munro, Richard H. Save
Year Published 2010
Place of publication United States
Publisher American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Abstract Background Diarrhea has adverse consequences for critically ill patients, health care staff, and health care costs. Objective To evaluate the efficacy of the multispecies probiotic VSL#3 in reducing the mean number of episodes of liquid stool in enterally fed critically ill patients. Methods A single-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study was done in a 6-bed intensive care unit in a 330-bed public hospital in Australia. A total of 45 adults (20 intervention, 25 control) who required enteral nutrition for more than 72 hours were given VSL#3 or a placebo twice daily. The frequency (mean number of episodes per patient per day) and weight (grams per day) were determined for both liquid stool and liquid and loose (unformed) stool. Results The 2 groups of patients had no demographic or clinical differences. Patients received enteral nutrition for a mean of 8.5 days (SD, 5.4) and were studied for a mean of 11.9 days (SD, 5.6). Compared with the control group, the intervention group had a significant reduction in the frequency of liquid stools (incidence rate ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.27 to 0.93; P = .03). Smaller but still significant differences also occurred between the groups in both the frequency of episodes and the weight of liquid and loose (unformed) stool. Conclusion VSL#3 was effective in reducing the frequency of liquid stool in critically ill patients receiving enteral nutrition. Probiotics possibly can minimize diarrhea in critically ill tube-fed patients, but more controlled clinical trials are needed.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2010976
Copyright Statement Self-archiving of the author-manuscript version is not yet supported by this journal. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version or contact the author[s] for more information.
Volume 19
Issue Number 3
Page from e1
Page to e11
ISSN 1937-710X
Date Accessioned 2011-01-20
Date Available 2011-03-10T08:10:37Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Health Practice Innovation; Griffith Health Institute
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Nursing
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/36509
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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