Approach to Nourishment of Neurocritical Care Patients

Neurocritical care patients usually have increased metabolic demands, but our observations have suggested that we do not always meet their enhanced metabolic demand with proper nourishment. This can have a negative impact on patient outcome and increase the risk of complications and prolongation of hospitalization. In order to study this problem further we established a partnership with our Nutrition Department colleagues to systematically quantify patients’ daily nutritional needs and our success in accomplishing delivery to those targets. So far, we have shown that it is presently taking 5 days to achieve nutritional support toward those targets and there are various modifiable factors that can improve on this performance. We also disproved certain dogmatic concepts that have historically led to sluggishness in meeting the nutritional goals for individual patients. We have formally presented our preliminary work on the topic and are reporting those results. This, in turn, will lead to our next phase on an interventional study to improve our adequacy in more rapidly accomplishing necessary nutritional support in our neurocritical care patients.