The Complex Problem Of Poor Nutrition

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The complex problem of poor nutrition in hospitals needs major improvements. Media coverage have arose their stories of hungry patients, lack of assistance with eating and drinking resulting in many of the patients being constantly ignored. Many of the patients who experience this are older people. In fact, today beds in all acute hospital specialties are mainly occupied by people aged more than 65 (Department of Health (DH), 2001). This issue has been ongoing and addressed by the Department of health (DH) (2007), which focuses on areas for improvements and making the health care system more proficient for patients. All health care professionals need to access the nutritional needs of patients and the importance of nutrition in …show more content…

What is malnutrition? Malnutrition can result from an unbalanced, insufficient, or excessive diet, or from impaired absorption, assimilation or use of foods (Anderson et al, 1994). Malnutrition is an overpriced burden for the health facility in terms of lengthy hours of hospitalization. Inadequate food intake during hospitalization deteriorates the prevalence and increased length of hospital stay, morbidity and mortality (Depertuis et al, 2003). Regardless of nutrition having a huge impact in a patient’s well-being, studies have shown that fifty percent of hospital patient’s nutritional status is reduced by hospitalization (Hallstrom et al, 2000). Malnutrition affects more than ten percent of older people (British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN), 2006). Between 30-40 percent of people admitted to hospitals, care homes or mental health units are at risk of malnutrition (BAPEN, 2009). Screening, by recognizing patients and clients with problems or at risk of developing them, is the essential first step of enhancing nutritional care. Nutritional screening is the first step towards identifying patients who are already malnourished or possibly on the verge of becoming so; nutritional assessment is a detailed analysis to recognize and qualify specific nutritional problems (Bond, 1997). Most often malnutrition is unrecognized and not dealt with. The British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN, 2007)

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