Nutrology and Nutrition in Intensive Care Units: Synergy in Search of Excellence

Karen Fernanda Ferruch Muñoz, Caroline Aguiar Pereira, Júlia Romero de Lima, Priscila Schmidt Lora


Objective: Nutritional therapy, in spite of current guidelines, does not seem to be perceived yet as an
important therapeutic strategy in critical patients. The objective of this study was to assess the joint action
of a team composed of a nutrology specialist and a nutritionist in ICU by measuring quality indicators
such as fasting time and adequacy of caloric intake. Methods: This is a prospective descriptive study
realized in a mixed adult intensive care unit, with patients that remained stayed for longer than 24h.
Patients received nutritional therapy according to a protocol based on guidelines and adapted to the 

unit. Demographic and clinical data were gathered; nutritional route, time of start of therapy, prescribed
volume, and received volume of enteral feeding. Results: Out of 89 patients assessed, 48 (53.9%)
started with oral feeding, 2 (2.2%) received parenteral feeding, and 39 (43.8%), enteral feeding. The
time for enteral therapy to start was 24h and 25 minutes (QI: 7-44h), and 87.2% of patients received
enteral feeding in the first 48h of stay. For surgical patients (n=42), the time to start feeding via any
route was 20h and 59 minutes (QI: 14h 45 min - 41h 15 min). 87% of the calories prescribed were
instilled via enteral feeding throughout the 284 days of assessment. Conclusion: The presence of a
team composed of a nutrology specialist and a nutritionist may be capable of meeting the attention and
specific knowledge in nutritional therapy needs, bringing high quality and proven excellence through the
indicators measured.


Enteral Nutrition, Nutritionists, Intensive Care Unit, Quality Indicators, Patient Care Team, Fasting.

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