Clinical

Challenging Dogma: The banana bag


 

Takeaway

The banana bag is a “one-size-fits-all” approach that offers too much of some of its ingredients and not enough of others. It’s better to individualize treatment based on a patient’s needs and consider high-dose thiamine (500 mg one to three times daily) for those at risk for, or showing signs of, Wernicke’s encephalopathy.

Dr. Sehgal and Dr. Hanson are clinical associate professors of medicine in the division of general and hospital medicine at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and UT-Health San Antonio. Dr. Sehgal (@rtsehgal) is a member of the editorial advisory board for The Hospitalist.

References

1. Torvik A et al. Brain lesions in alcoholics: a neuropathological study with clinical correlation. J Neurol Sci. 1982 Nov;56(2-3):233-48.

2. Schwab RA et al. Prevalence in folate deficiency in emergency department patients with alcohol-related illness or injury. Am J Emerg Med. 1992 May;10(3):203-7.

3. Sarai M et al. Magnesium for alcohol withdrawal. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 5;(6):CD008358.

4. Krishel S et al. Intravenous vitamins for alcoholics in the emergency department: a review. J Emerg Med. 1998 May-Jun;16(3):419-24.

5. Donnino MW et al. Myths and misconceptions of Wernicke’s encephalopathy: what every emergency physician should know. Ann Emerg Med. 2007;50(6): 715-21.

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