Written by Doron Besser, CEO of ENvizion
The crisis created by the pandemic further solidified how important the rapid diagnosis of malnutrition, particularly for those in intensive care
Even as vaccines roll out and some parts of the world begin to reopen, it seems new mutations of the COVID-19 pandemic are sprouting every week. Vaccines have proven effective so far in countries such as Israel, but rollouts remain slow elsewhere and health systems are still grappling with the pandemic. One issue growing in urgency is the management of nutrition for ICU patients, which has become significantly complex in delivering effectively.
In patients suffering from COVID-19, the effects of the virus invariably result in reduced food intake and an increased muscle catabolism for patients, wherein immediate nutrition is crucial for patients who are mechanically ventilated in an ICU. Because of this, patients remain at risk of a significant deterioration in their medical condition, or even death, if they do not receive adequate nutrition through a feeding tube. Since the pandemic hit, the need to therefore minimize malnutrition has grown in both complexity and urgency.
Long before COVID-19 hit the headlines in early 2020, certain practices within medicine have long-sought improvements to increasingly obsolete methods. The more our technology and expertise matures, the more medical analysts can delve into variables and patterns that were previously obscured. Research has become much more immersed in discovering causation by looking deeper into how communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor personal judgement, and inadequate level of qualifications can directly result in patient harm or death. Early enteral nutrition, provided within 24 hours of injury or intensive care unit admission, significantly reduces mortality in critically ill patients, according to 2009 research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Subsequently, the relationship between high-risk, ICU admissions and timely nutritional support become a topic of growing concern in the medical industry.