Are We Meeting The Calorie Needs Of Hospitalized Children?

  • JK Renner
  • CO Bode
  • AO Oduwole
  • A Emokpae
  • A Abubakar


For the past four decades, nutrition has assumed its pride of place on the list of advances in surgery and general patient care. We prospectively reviewed the effect of hospitalisation on the nutritional status of 28 children admitted for various surgical and medical conditions at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Parameters studied were admission weights, calorie intake and weight lost or gained within the first one week of admission.

The mean Daily Calorie Intake among the 16 children admitted for infective medical conditions was 68.8% of ideal while the corresponding figure for those who had major surgeries was only 27.0% of ideal. Although the 12 surgical patients had admission weights satisfactorily suitable for their ages, they lost a mean 11.8% of admission weights at the end of the first week of hospitalisation and surgery. The medical group had a modest weight gain of 2.6% within the same period.

It was concluded that hosplitalisation is deleterious to the nutritional status of children in our institution and various modes of nutritional support are recommended for ameliorating this undesirable side effect of hospital admission in this group of patients.

Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine Vol. 9, No. 2 (June 1999) pp. 112-115

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eISSN: 0189-2657