April 13, 2019
A hospitalized patient must receive at least 80% of the necessary calories within the first 3 to 5 days of hospitalization, i.e. 1,120 calories, therefore nutrition must begin within the first 48 hours of being hospitalized, said Dr. Guillermo Contreras, Head of Critical Units at Clínica Ricardo Palma
Low level of calories is the result of lack of nutrients that the hospitalized body needs for recovery using the energy of their organs and cells, and this increases the rate of infections and the possibility of death
“If we do not eat the minimum amount of calories that is 1,400 calories to fight against the disease, our organs will take that energy from our own bodies, from our own cells,” the specialist explained.
How to feed a patient who can not eat by mouth? According to Dr. Contreras, in order to reduce this caloric debt, patients can be fed through tubes that reach the stomach or intestines, receiving the nutrients balanced with the calories necessary for the proper functioning of their organisms.
“If feeding with tubes is not possible, catheters can be placed in the main veins of their body. It implies a greater level of severity feeding through this canal that in medicine we call parenteral, “he added.
Therefore, nutrition must begin within the first 48 hours and we must make the necessary efforts to achieve it, with strict surveillance and monitoring by health professionals, highly specialized in nutritional support
Dr. Guillermo Contreras
Head of Critical Units of Clínica Ricardo Palma