Nutritional care in Antrim Intensive Care Unit rated sixth in World

A worldwide audit into nutritional care in intensive care units (ICU) has placed Antrim Area Hospital as sixth in the world.

The audit, carried out by the Canadian Critical Care Nutrition Research Group, placed Antrim Intensive Care Unit sixth in the world and fifth in Europe.

Patients are known to lose approximately 1kg of muscle mass for every day they spend in an Intensive Care Unit which weakens, leaving them vulnerable to infection and impacting on how quickly they recover. By providing carefully calculated nutritional feeds patients outcomes can be greatly improved.

Valerie Patterson, Critical Care Dietitian for the Northern Trust, explained: “When patients arrive in the Intensive Care Unit they are very vulnerable nutritionally and while their bodies try to repair they are in need of significant amounts of protein, minerals and vitamins. Working as part of a team we calculate and balance that requirement knowing, that the closer we can match their need then the bigger the reduction will be in muscle wastage, damage to organs, infection rates and the length of time the patient remains in intensive care.”

The audit examined the adequacy and management of nutrition therapy for twenty patients within the Intensive Care Unit, this was compared to best practice guidelines and the performance was then benchmarked.

Valerie continued: “My role is dedicated to providing the best nutritional care to these critically ill patients and with the ongoing support from the other healthcare professionals in the Intensive Care Unit Team we will continue to implement best practice. We’re delighted to have been placed so highly and to know that our patients are getting some of the best care in the world.”

Pictured: Valerie Patterson, Critical Care Dietitian for the Northern Trust

16th April 2014

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