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New diagnostic platform for hospital dietitians aims to improve patient nutrition and recovery outco
By: Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa
Because critically ill patients often present with hypermetabolic or catabolic states, nutritional support plays a vital role in their clinical management programme. Protein loss and caloric deficit in these patients is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, while muscle mass depletion leads to impaired function, more ventilator days, additional complications, increased length of hospital stay and generally poor clinical outcomes.
"There is a real need for a systematic approach in order to optimise nutritional support for critically ill patients. The primary goals of nutritional support are to preserve or restore lean body mass, improve immune function and avert metabolic complications,"
"Each patient's nutritional needs should be individually determined and a tailored nutritional therapy regimen must specify the type of solution, delivery site, access devices and administration rate and method," explains Marais.
"We realised that a specific tool was needed that could monitor the specific metabolic and nutritional needs of individual patients, and thus improve their health outcomes and reduce costs," says Marais. The MNTT is the result of that work.
Marais explains how the HDIG and ENASA are now offering this tool as part of their mission to provide free resources to their members.
"The Medical Nutrition Therapy Tool (MNTT) is a local South African development and a wonderful example of what can be achieved when medical associations collaborate,"
Because of its interactive, PDF-based design that operates on an iPad or similar tablet, hospital dietitians can easily map the patient nutrition journey in hospital from admission to discharge.
"We urge healthcare workers, particularly dietitians, to investigate and become competent in using this freely available tool to the benefit of their patients," says Naazneen Khan, Chairperson of ENASA.
For more information on how the MNTT tool works in practice and how it can be obtained from the Hospital Dietitians Interest Group and the Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa, interested parties can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.