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Nutrition support in major burn injury: case analysis of dietetic activity, resource use and cost implications

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Abstract Background 

Patients with major burn injury are among the most catabolic and nutritionally vulnerable of all hospital admissions. A considerable amount of dietetic intervention is often required. To date, UK practice has not been described in detail. This study aimed to identify nutritional interventions, resource use and associated costs for a typical patient admitted with major burns. Methods 

A 28-year-old male with 43.5% total body surface area flame injury was selected for study. Dietetic, medical and pharmacy records were reviewed for data regarding nutritional status, interventions and product use. Costs of dietetic staffing, nutrition support products, related ancillary items and hospital food provision were calculated. Results 

The patient required 68 days of nutrition support, including 40 days of nasogastric tube feeding. Seventy per cent of bedside reviews resulted in dietetic intervention. Initiation of nutrition support, substrate use, and frequency of biochemical and weight monitoring were largely in compliance with practice guidelines. Overall cost of nutritional care for the inpatient episode was £1377. Conclusion 

Work is now required to assess current nutrition practices across different UK centres and for a range of burn severities, to establish a baseline from which resource and financial requirements can ultimately be developed.

Keywords: Burns; critical illness; dietetic standards; dietitian; nutrition support

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2008


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