According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is quite common and is associated with 6 million child deaths worldwide in 2000. In industrialized countries, the PEM is seen predominantly in hospitals and in association with diseases. Protein deficiency has adverse effects on all organs and on brain function. Patients experience reduced immune function and are even more susceptible to infections (1).
The Brazilian Hospital Nutritional Assessment Survey (IBRANUTRI) was a study conducted in 14 Brazilian cities, involving 4,000 patients from public network, aiming to evaluate the nutritional condition and predominance of malnutrition in hospitalized patients. Its results showed that the predominance of malnutrition in hospitalized patients in Brazil is high, the healthcare staff\'s awareness with respect to the patients’ nutritional condition is small and the indication and use of nutritional therapy is less frequent than what is recommended by the literature (2).
Source: Waitzberg, 2001
The nutritional support for such patients provides broad clinical challenges that make it possible to obtain excellent results in terms of morbidity and mortality.
1. Waitzberg, DL. Nutrição oral, enteral e parenteral na prática clínica. 4ª. Ed. São Paulo: Editora Atheneu, 2009.
2. Waitzberg DL, Caiaffa WT, Correia MI. Hospital malnutrition: the Brazilian national survey (Ibranutri): a study of 4000 patients. Nutrition 2001; 17(7-8):573-80. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11448575)