Feeding Surgical Patients in the ICU – Part 2
One of the measurements that is often used in calculating a patient’s nutritional needs is body weight. However, this can be a misleading and distorted value in surgical ICU patients. Patients who are critically ill often receive large volumes of fluid which then redistributes in the multiple body compartments. Because of this, the patient’s current weight must be compared to their
usual “ideal” body weight.
Other measurements that are used in trying to determine a patient’s nutritional status are the serum proteins – albumin, transferrin, and prealbumin. As in the patient’s body weight, these proteins are subject to distortion based on fluid resuscitation, the ability of the liver to synthesize them, and their rate of breakdwon in critical illness.
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