Article

[Screening and treatment of malnutrition: European Council Resolution and its potential application in Switzerland].

Unité de Nutrition, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève.
Revue medicale de la Suisse romande 11/2004; 124(10):617-23.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The deleterious consequences of hospital malnutrition are progressively being recognized by the public. The Committee of the Ministers of the European Council has released a resolution for food and nutrition and ask the state members to apply national recommendations in their hospitals. The evaluated domains and actions to be undertaken are based on 4 elements: Access to a healthy and varied food supply is a fundamental human right; a high number of patients hospitalized in Europe are malnourished (30-60%); the demonstration that malnutrition of hospitalized patients increases length of hospital stay and medical costs; the demonstrated beneficial effects of a hospital food service and of optimal nutritional care on morbidity, healing and quality of life. The resolution indicates clearly the options to be followed to optimize the actions and decisions at three levels: patient care, support services, and administration. All caregivers must be involved in the implementation of the recommendations in a way to adapt them to the local needs and restrictions. This review summarizes the actions to be taken by medical and other caregivers in order to sensitize them to the above-mentioned problems and to initiate practical options to treat malnourished patients or patients at risk of becoming malnourished.

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