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Optimal nutrition practice offers better chance to critically-ill, boot camp told
Wednesday, 11 May, 2022, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Nutrition continues to be a neglected area in the majority of the intensive care units across the country. It has been well known that optimal nutrition at such times is paramount for early recovery of critically ill patients. This was asserted by the organisers of the 6th Edition of Nutrition Boot Camp 2022 held at The Lalit Mumbai recently.

The event which is part of the scientific clinical education programme held with the support of The Indian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and S.L.Raheja Hospital with DocMode Health Technologies was attended by 300-plus delegates including physicians, intensivists, surgeons, registered dieticians and physicians from other medical specialists.
“Physicians and registered dieticians in our country do not get adequate exposure to nutritional aspects of critical care during their training period. Understandingly, nutritional needs of critically ill patients continue to be neglected,” said Dr. Sanjith Saseedharan, chief organiser, scientific lead of the Nutrition Boot Camp and HOD-Critical Care, S.L. Raheja Hospital Mumbai.

The practice of nutrition, according to him, has seen a big change in the last two to three years as Covid-19, in particular, brought home how nutrition could make a crucial difference in survival and good functional outcome.
Literature and past studies have revealed that up to 50% of patients after critical illness do not survive for more than 1 year, and only 70% reach optimal functional recovery after 5 years.  “We are now learning more about optimal nutritional needs of critically ill patients,” the doctor informed.
Recent pre-clinical and clinical studies provide more insights into the role of nutrition and what it does to one’s body and how the body reacts. Numerous biomarkers, the doctor said, are being developed to study subgroups of patients and how they could benefit from targeted nutrition in an ICU setup.
Nutrition practice, Dr.Saseedharan confirms, has seen a paradigm shift in the last couple of years from “feed as much as we can” to “feed what is required.  The emphasis now is to personalise nutrition and use it as a therapeutic modality to ensure good, long-term outcomes.
It is no doubt a challenge to arrive at the nutrition needs of critically ill patients in the absence of correct assessment of pathophysiology and disease progression. “I would say there is a knowledge deficit here, among our doctors and dieticians,” Dr.Saseedharan affirmed.
The boot camp helped the delegates get hands-on experience in best nutrition practices. Besides, they also got a feel of the best equipment that helps in the conduct of critical care nutrition more objectively. These validated devices are commonplace abroad but rare in India, he reminded.
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