A worldwide audit into nutritional care in intensive care units (ICU) has placed Antrim Area Hospital among the world’s best.
The audit, by the Canadian Critical Care Nutrition Research Group, placed Antrim’s unit sixth in the world and fifth in Europe.
Valerie Patterson, Critical Care Dietitian for the Northern Trust, said: “When patients arrive they are very vulnerable nutritionally and while their bodies try to repair they are in need of significant amounts of protein, minerals and vitamins. Working as part of a team we calculate and balance that requirement knowing, that the closer we can match their need then the bigger the reduction will be in muscle wastage, damage to organs, infection rates and the length of time the patient remains in intensive care.”
The audit examined the adequacy and management of nutrition therapy for 20 patients within the ICU which was compared to best practice guidelines and the performance was then benchmarked.