Updated Recommendations Favorably Impact Patient Outcomes

SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 15, 2016 -- New guidelines providing updated recommendations on nutrition therapy methods, procedures, and tools for healthcare providers involved in nutrition therapy of the critically ill were published today by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). The guidelines provide healthcare providers -- physicians, nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists -- with the most up-to-date recommendations on providing the best nutrition therapy for critically ill adult patients (those 18 years or older).

"Nutrition plays a significant role in a hospital setting, particularly in the intensive care unit where patients are in a critical state and malnutrition can have fatal consequences," said Beth E. Taylor, RD, DCN. "These guidelines assist the care team in providing proper nutrition therapy, which can diminish complications, reduce length of stay and disease severity and improve patient outcomes."

Health professionals developed the Guidelines through analysis of literature, international and national guidelines, expert options and clinical practicality. Recommendations include:

  • Early assessment of patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for nutrition risk, and calculation of energy and protein requirements to determine goals of nutrition therapy;
  • Initiation of enteral nutrition (EN) within 24−48 hours following the onset of critical illness and admission to the ICU;
  • Take steps as needed to reduce risk of aspiration and improve tolerance to gastric feeding;
  • Implementation of enteral feeding protocols with institution-specific strategies to promote delivery of EN;
  • Elimination of the use of gastric residual volumes as part of routine care to monitor ICU patients receiving EN; and
  • Initiation of parenteral nutrition early, when EN is not feasible or sufficient in high-risk or poorly nourished patients.

The recommendations were published in the OnlineFirst version of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition(JPEN). For the full report, visit: http://pen.sagepub.com/

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About JPEN
A publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) is the premier scientific journal of nutrition and metabolic support. It publishes original, peer-reviewed studies that define the cutting edge of basic and clinical research in the field. It explores the science of optimizing the care of patients receiving enteral or intravenous therapies. All published JPEN articles are available online at http://pen.sagepub.com.

About A.S.P.E.N.
The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,400 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit www.nutritioncare.org.