Success Stories

 

June 1, 2014 - Health Care Professional

A Case of Malnutrition in Hospials

A patient in her late 80s was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. She had no history of dementia, lived alone and was highly functional prior to admission. The patient was very engaging and "full of spirit" during her first week of admission until she was put in isolation, when, as a result, her meal trays were left outside her room. She was feisty enough to advocate for herself and request that her trays be brought in the room. She had a good appetite – enjoying her meals − augmented with chocolate from her family! Then, she started to worsen and was having trouble swallowing, at which time she was seen by a Speech Language Pathologist and her diet was changed to a minced texture. The patient languished, losing close to 10 pounds, and lost her fortitude and will to ask for her meals to be brought in to her room. At no time was this patient recognized as being at risk for malnutrition and was never seen by nutrition care staff. During the last few days of hospitalization the patient never left her bed, eventually required 100% oxygen by face mask and ate very little. She ultimately passed away in hospital.

Sadly, there are many of these kinds of situations. Disseminating examples such as this one to the public will help to promote nutrition care and change the culture in Canadian hospitals.

© 2017 Canadian Malnutrition Task Force
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