Patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) often have multiple autonomic disturbances that interfere with normal gastrointestinal motility. Many of the pharmacologic agents used in the intensive care unit (ICU) also adversely affect gastrointestinal motility. The body is further subjected to excessive levels of sympathetic discharge in states of traumatic injury and extreme stress, which can interfere with the proper absorption of fluids and nutrients.
To determine whether mesenteric lift, an osteopathic manipulative treatment technique, is effective in relieving constipation in patients with TBI who are intubated in the ICU.
This retrospective medical record review examined the effect of mesenteric lift on intubated patients with significant TBI who were unable to have a bowel movement within 72 hours of admission. The primary endpoint was the return of normal bowel function within 24 hours. A control group consisted of intubated patients with TBI during the same period who did not receive mesenteric lift.
Of patients who received mesenteric lift, 77% experienced bowel movements (n=27 of 35), compared with 36% (n=16 of 44) in the control group (P=.01).
The application of mesenteric lift to intubated patients with severe TBI in the intensive care unit significantly increased patients’ ability to resume normal bowel function and expel waste.

References

PubMed