Nutrition therapy and critical illness


eMediNexus    10 December 2022

Healthcare advancements have brought about a decline in mortality. However, recent records suggest arise in the number of individuals with functional disabilities. This has imposed a significant healthcare burden and costs. 


A narrative review summarized the latest scientific insights and guidelines on nutritional delivery to patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). 


Patients under critical care require a gradual progression to their caloric and protein targets during the initial phases of ICU stay. Thereafter, they can be progressed to total caloric doses. Phosphate monitoring is warranted; in the event of hypophosphatemia, caloric restriction is indicated.


The initial phase allows for 1.3 g of proteins/kg/day; in the later phases, higher protein/caloric supplements can be instituted along with exercise. The post-discharge phase warrants long-term highdoses of protein and calorie feeding.


Pharmacological therapy combined with nutritional interventions can aid in enhancing the anabolic response and stimulating muscle protein synthesis. These help in improving long-term outcomes.


Customized nutritional targets and interventions with close patient monitoring should be practiced.


Source: Critical Care. 2019. 23, 368. Doi: 10.1186/s13054-019-2657-5

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