Checking for malnutrition in patients admitted to renal (kidney) wards

December 2 2015
The St George's renal team are doing a research study to compare a new approach (iNUT) with a more detailed assessment by a dietitian. The study is being funded by the British Renal Society / British Kidney Patients Association.

The iNUT Renal Inpatient Nutrition Screening Tool has been developed at St George’s Hospital for patients on the renal (kidney) wards and used there since 2012.

Nutrition screening uses forms or checklists known as nutrition screening tools to help to pick up nutrition problems and to treat them before they get worse.

Poor nutrition can delay recovery and discharge from hospital.

Malnutrition is a lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or being unable to use the food that one does eat. It has many causes. These include certain medical conditions (such as kidney failure), symptoms such as sickness or poor appetite and other difficulties in eating enough.

Once malnutrition develops it can be hard to treat, especially for those already unwell in hospital. So it is important for the nursing staff to regularly check their patients for any risk of developing malnutrition. This is known as nutrition screening.

It is used by the ward nurses to look out for problems that can lead to malnutrition and make a plan to prevent or treat them. They can also refer you to a specialist renal (kidney) dietitian.


 

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