Nutrition in the intensive care unit

  • Chase C. Hansen medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock.
  • Sharmila Dissanaike faculty physician in the Department of Surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Keywords: Nutrition, intensive care unit (ICU), malnutrition, critically ill, guidelines


Nutrition has evolved into an integral part of modern critical care for both medical and surgical patients. Multiple international societies now issue evidence-based guidelines to help clinician optimize their patients’ Nutrition. However, adherence to these guidelines throughout the country is poor, and education in nutrition is still lagging in medical school.  The authors also highlight four key areas where evidence-based recommendations exist – timing of initiation of enteral feeding, calculating and meeting total daily requirements, use of gastric residual volumes to guide delivery, and interuption of feeding for procedures – but are currently often not followed.  Reasons for this lack of adherence are explored, and potential solutions discussed.


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How to Cite
Hansen, C. C., & Dissanaike, S. (2015). Nutrition in the intensive care unit. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 3(10), 10-16. Retrieved from