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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE S4 ( September, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Gastrointestinal Stomas and Fistulas: What is Lost and What to Do?

Arpit Gupta

Keywords : Enteral nutrition, Enterocutaneous fistula, Parenteral nutrition, Sepsis, Surgical stomas

Citation Information :

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23620

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 18-11-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Abnormal connections between gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and skin are called enterocutaneous fistulas (ECFs). Presence of ECF is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. A stoma refers to a surgically created opening in the abdomen to divert feces or urine to the outside of the body, to compensate for partial or complete loss of bowel function. Gastrointestinal (GI) stomas and postoperative ECFs present a unique challenge to the intensivist due to development of malnutrition, dehydration, and sepsis leading to high morbidity and mortality. This review focuses on the basic concepts about the type of fistula and stomas, their indications and complications, and management. Principles of clinical management include replacement of fluid and electrolyte losses, control of sepsis along with reducing fistula output, prevention of malnutrition and psychological support, and skin care.

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