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Authors

  1. Finoccchiaro, Darlene PhD
  2. Hook, Jane MN

Abstract

Nutrition continues to be a concern for the older adult in the intensive care setting despite widespread knowledge of the benefits of adequate nutrition and existing evidence-based protocols. The incidence of malnutrition in hospitalized patients ranges between 22% and 43% with the highest probability of occurrence, 50% or more, in the intensive care unit patient. The deleterious effects of malnutrition for the critically ill older adult are described with suggested and accepted screening tools for existing or acquired malnutrition. A discussion of early oral and enteral feeding interventions and strategies for overcoming barriers is explored. Enteral feeding complications are delineated, and perceived barriers or risks are disputed. This paper concludes with suggestions for future research and a definitive role for advanced nursing nutrition champions.