"improving intensive care in Scotland"

Nutrition in ICU

Summary

Nutritional support in critically ill patients is an essential and complex aspect of care. A multidisciplinary approach involving ICU physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and surgeons is required. In some hospitals biochemists, gastro-enterologists and radiologists also participate in nutritional support.

The use of protocols for nutritional assessment, deciding on the route of feeding and delivery of feed has been shown to improve delivery of nutrition and to improve ICU outcome (the ACCEPT Trial). The prevention of refeeding syndrome by identifying at-risk patients is an important part of nutritional care.

‘All patients receiving nutritional support should have their nutritional requirements reviewed regularly, taking into account their clinical condition and treatments e.g. renal replacement therapy, drug treatment, nutritional status, response to nutritional therapy and supporting laboratory data.’ (Guide to Clinical Nutrition, BAPEN)

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