Nutrition & mobilisation in critically ill patients in the ICU (and during recovery on the ward) through family engagement

Learn the basics of Nutrition for Nurses in the ICU

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Prof Andrea Marshall help_outline
Professor of Acute and Complex Care Nursing, Griffith University, Australia
Lecture Summary

Does feeding make a difference to critically ill patient….or not? There remains considerable variability in nutrition support practice for the critically ill despite the availability of numerous guidelines to support our practice. The complexity of the metabolic response to critical illness, coupled with patient heterogeneity, means that a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition support is unlikely to work and that not all patients will benefit equally from nutrition interventions. We also lack clarity on the best way to determine nutritional requirements and there are insufficient data to specify the amount of protein and/or calories that patients should receive. All of these factors contribute to uncertainty regarding the benefits and best practices in relation to nutrition. Nevertheless, we know that if we don’t feed patients they do poorly. We also know that the practices of critical care nurses who manage the delivery of nutrition can have a significant impact on nutrition adequacy both in ICU and during recovery on the ward. Think about what you can do to make a difference to nutrition intake for patients recovering from critical illness.

Target Audience

Critical Care Nurses
Trainee Critical Care Doctors

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, you should be able to:

  • Describe the metabolic response to critical illness
  • Identify factors that increase the risk of malnutrition for critically ill patients
  • Outline the potential benefits of optimising nutrition during critical illness
  • Critically examine nutrition support strategies in critical illness
  • Discuss strategies to enhance nutrition intake during recovery from critical illness