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Table 4 Key messages about the clinical use of enteral and parenteral nutrition in ICU patients.

From: Parenteral nutrition: never say never

• Both hypocaloric and hypercaloric feeding are unsafe  
• Enteral nutrition: preferred route of nutrition  
• Start enteral nutrition on day 1 or 2 after ICU admission  
• In case of failure with enteral nutrition on day 3 or 4 after ICU admission, start individualized supplemental parenteral nutrition to reduce infection rates and duration of mechanical ventilation  
• Parenteral nutrition is safe as long as hypercaloric feeding is avoided  
• Exclusive parenteral nutrition should be reserved to absolute contraindication to enteral nutrition