Feeding the Critically Ill Mechanically Ventilated Patient during the Covid-19 Epidemic
A position paper on nutrition care in critical pulmonary patients in the context of COVID-19 was recently composed by Atid, the Israeli Dietetic Association, and presented to the Israeli Ministry of Health and hospitals across the state.
New challenges have arisen in the area of nutrition care in hospitals due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic. It is most likely that the proportion of patients requiring respiratory support will increase and therefore, and so too will the proportion of patients needing specialized feeds, including enteral and parenteral nutrition.
In general, every person who is hospitalized for more than 48 hours in the ICU is at nutritional risk. Among ventilated patients with COVID-19, it is expected that there will be a relatively higher proportion of older patients with co-morbidities, sarcopenia, and fragility, and therefore they will be at increased nutritional risk. It is also known that the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting) is significant and ranges from 5-40%. These symptoms, together with changes in taste and smell, may result in decreased dietary intake even prior to admission to the ICU
The principles of nutritional therapy for these patients are based on well-known guidelines for nutrition care for acute respiratory patients, the current state of the art, and strict adherence to the prevention of infection.
The purpose of this document: Feeding the Critically Ill Mechanically Ventilated Patient during the Covid-19 Epidemic
is to train dietitians rapidly in treating mechanically ventilated patients who have been infected with COVID-19, by concentrating the most up-to-date information and principles of nutritional care of acute respiratory patients.
Prof. Niva Shapira Ph.D.,R.D.,Agr.
R&D, functional and Clinical nutrition