Nutritional assessment of the critically ill patient
Nutritional status screening, assessment and monitoring is essential in the critically ill patient to reduce morbidity and mortality and to decrease hospitalisation costs. We in South Africa should establish where we are in terms of hospital-acquired malnutrition, perform a gap analysis and define a strategy to correct our shortcomings. We need to set a mission and vision for where we want to be. Elements to be addressed will include promoting a greater awareness of the negative consequences of existing and acquired malnutrition in the critically ill patient introducing an appropriate screening tool(s) based on our local patient demographics and financial resources, and sensitise the relevant role players. Adequate nutrition is a vital part of successful treatment, and should be sold as such.