Adequacy of Protein and Energy Intake in Critically Ill Adults Following Liberation From Mechanical Ventilation Is Dependent on Route of Nutrition Delivery
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BACKGROUND: Studies examining nutrition intake of critically ill patients following liberation from mechanical ventilation (LMV) are scarce. The objectives of this prospective, observational feasibility study were to quantify and assess protein and energy intake in hospitalized, critically ill patients following LMV, to determine barriers to optimal intake, and to report on the feasibility of recruiting and retaining patients into this study. METHODS: Adult patients requiring MV for >72 hours in a medical/surgical intensive care unit (ICU) were recruited. Protein and energy intakes were quantified up to 14 days following LMV. Patients also identified barriers to eating. RESULTS: Nineteen patients (mean age, 60 years [SD, 12 years]) were studied over 125 days. Over all study days, the median amounts of protein and energy consumed in comparison with amounts prescribed by dietitians were 46% (interquartile range [IQR], 26-100) and 71% (IQR, 38-100), respectively. When stratified by route of nutrition delivery, on days (n = 54) when patients consumed an oral diet as the sole nutrition source, median amounts of protein and energy consumed in comparison with those prescribed were only 27% (IQR, 15-41) and 47% (IQR, 29-66), respectively. The most frequently reported barriers to eating were poor appetite, early satiety, and taste changes. CONCLUSIONS: Protein and calorie intake is below prescribed amounts for patients whose enteral nutrition is discontinued and an oral diet prescribed as sole nutrition source following LMV. Acceptable strategies to enhance nutrition intake in post-ICU patients during the recovery stages of critical illness are needed.
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