The group of patients most frequently in need of nutritional support are intensive care patients. This year (i.e., 2019), new European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) guidelines of clinical nutrition in intensive care were published, updating and gathering current knowledge on the subject of this group of patients. Planning the right nutritional intervention is often a challenging task involving the necessity of the choice of the enteral nutrition (EN) or parenteral nutrition (PN) route of administration, time of initiation, energy demand, amino acid content and demand as well as the use of immunomodulatory nutrition. The aim of this study was to specify and discuss the basic aspects of the clinical nutrition of critically ill patients recommended by ESPEN guidelines. Clinical nutrition in intensive care seems to be the best-studied type of nutritional intervention. However, meta-analyses and clinical studies comparing EN and PN and their impact on the prognosis of the intensive care patients showed ambiguous results. The nutritional interventions, starting with EN, should be initiated within 24–48 h whereas PN, if recommended, should be implemented within 3–7 days. The recommended method of calculation of the energy demand is indirect calorimetry, however, there are also validated equations used worldwide in everyday practice. The recommended protein intake in this group of patients and the results of insufficient or too high supply was addressed. In light of the concept of immunomodulatory nutrition, the use of appropriate amino acid solutions and lipid emulsion that can bring a positive effect on the modulation of the immune response was discussed.
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