When should nutritional support be implemented in a hospitalized patient?


He was able to maintain some volitional oral intake, but after 7 days of close monitoring by a licensed dietician, it was determined that he was unable to meet his nutritional needs via the oral route. A percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube was placed, and tube feeds were initiated, because his dysphagia – which was a significant factor contributing to his inability to meet his nutritional needs orally – was expected to persist for greater than 30 days.

Bottom Line

Nutrition support should be initiated in this patient with malnutrition on admission and high nutritional risk.

Dr. Abalos is an assistant professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington. Dr. Corbett is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.

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