News article

NNI symposium highlighted the impact of nutrition on the outcomes of critically ill patients

Posted:  Monday, February 13, 2012

Last month the NNI held a breakfast symposium during Clinical Nutrition Week 2012 in Orlando, USA. As one of the premier events in the calendar of healthcare professionals practicing in clinical nutrition, this was an important opportunity to share new thinking and advance awareness of the impact that nutrition can have on the outcomes of critically ill patients.

Five presenters took to the podium during the event and webinars will be available on the NNI website soon. In the meantime, here are the key points from each presentation:

Dr. Steven McClave: ‘When does Nutrition Change Therapy Outcomes?’

  • Increased calorie deficit creates increases in negative outcomes such as increased sepsis, ARDS, LOS and even mortality
  • Volume-based feeding as a goal can limit this loss of calories each day by making up the difference
  • Enteral nutrition to replace calories lost is still preferable to parenteral nutrition

Dr. Jose Saavedra: ‘Spectrum of Intestinal Dysfunction in the ICU’

  • An empty GI tract creates an increase in gut permeability and causes increased inflammation
  • The key to stopping the vicious cycle is to stop unnecessary NPO (patients not allowed anything in their GI tract)!

Dr. Robert Martindale: ‘Case Presentation and Nutrition Therapy’

  • Appropriate enteral feeding improves patient outcomes—we must advocate for nutritional therapy
  • Dietitians and nutrition professionals need to round with physicians—that way all appropriate information can be shared when orders are being changed

Dr. Kevin Miller: ‘CAN WE FEED - A Mnemonic Merging Nutrition Support and Critical Care’

  • A multi-disciplinary approach to increase EN in Critical Care Units is needed
  • The mnemonic CAN-WE-FEED can be used to help recognise those patients appropriate for nutrition support – taking into account how sick the patient is, nutrition screening, access and type of formula used for success (considering a small peptide formula for malabsorption patients)

Beth Taylor, MS, RD, CNSD, FCCM: ‘Advanced Practice Role of RD in the ICU setting’

  • Dietitians can be part of money-saving programs to improve patient outcomes
  • Tube placement, blood sugar management and physical/nutritional assessment can all be in the realm of responsibility of the advanced practicing dietitian

A vast library of nutrition related studies, articles, and webinars is freely available on the Nestlé Nutrition Institute website in the ‘Resources’ section: