Nutrition Support Protocols: Enhancing Delivery of Enteral Nutrition
In critical care, malnutrition has a significant, negative impact on a patient's ability to respond to medical treatment. Enteral nutrition is known to counteract the metabolic changes associated with critical illness that increase the risk for serious complications and poor clinical outcomes. Inadequate delivery of nutrition support and underfeeding persist in intensive care units despite the availability of guidelines and current research for best practice. Recent studies have shown that nutrition support protocols are effective in promoting nutritional goals in a wide variety of intensive care patients. It is essential to find approaches that enhance early delivery of enteral nutrition that meets requirements and supports improved outcomes. Nurses are in a unique position to take an active role in promoting the best nutritional outcomes for their patients by using and evaluating nutrition support protocols.