Beaumont Hospital

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Beaumont ICUs are Tops in International ICU Nutrition Survey

Tuesday January 24, 2012

The multidisciplinery professional teams working in Beaumont Hospital’s two intensive care units have demonstrated that they deliver nutritional care to the very highest international standards.

Beaumont’s Richmond Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit has just been ranked fourth and the hospital’s General ICU ninth in a survey of nutritional practices and outcomes in 183 intensive care units worldwide. The survey compared care outcomes at 126 sites in 27 countries, including Canada, the US, Brazil, the UK, Norway, Italy, Spain, Australia, India, China and Japan.

Beaumont’s two ICUs were the only European ones to receive the “Best of the Best” accolade reserved for those achieving top ten ranking in the survey.

Beaumont ICU Staff

(l-r) Paula O'Connor (Dietitan Manager), Claire Moreau (Senior Dietition, Richmond ICU), Carmel O'Hanlon (Clinical Specialist Dietitian, General ICU), Dr Rory Dwyer (ICU Consultant), Ina Dineen (Clinical Nurse Manager II, Richmond ICU), Dr James O'Rourke (ICU Consultant), and Niamh Duggan (Clinical Nurse Manager II, General ICU).

The International Nutrition Survey is co-ordinated by the Clinical Evaluation Research Unit at Kingston General Hospital in Ontario, Canada. The results were announced last Sunday (22.1.2012) at the Clinical Nutrition Week of the American Society for Parenteral and Entereal Nutrition, which was held this year in Orlando, Florida.

Commenting on the Irish hospital’s outstanding performance, Beaumont’s Dietitian Manager Paula O’Connor paid tribute to the hard work of Claire Moreau, Senior Dietitian in Richmond ICU, and and Carmel O’Hanlon, Clinical Specialist Dietitian in the General ICU.

“’We first participated in this important international survey in 2007,” Paula O'Connor said, “with the specific intention of benchmarking ourselves against comparable ICU’s worlwide. Our aim has been to learn as much as we can about best practice from our peers. Our success in the 2011 survey, with two of our ICU’s ranking in the top 10, shows that this focus has been of direct benefit to our patients. The achievement reflects the tremendous commitment of the team to devising and implementing protocols to ensure the maintenance of the very highest standards at all times.”

The prevalence of malnutrition is high in ICUs generally. This can have a negative impact on clinical outcomes. Providing patients with the right nutrition, however, improves wound healing, boosts the immune system and helps the gut work more effectively. Taken together, these factors can play an important role in helping patients survive critical illnesses.

Nutrition is typically provided to patients in ICUs either intravenously (parenteral nutrition) or through a tube placed in the nose, stomach or small intestine (enteral nutrition). In either case, close monitoring of the patient is required at all times to ensure that he or she is receiving the correct balance of nutrients such as glucose, amino acids, lipids, added vitamins and dietary minerals.

The Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition Support in Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Patients, first published in 2003 and subsequently updated, are employed by ICU practitioners worldwide to cope with this complex challenge. However, research has shown that there is considerable variation in how nutrition therapies for critically ill patients are delivered in practice.

The International Nutrition Survey was started in 2007 with the intention of identifying these differences, relating them to clinical outcomes and allowing each participating ICU to benchmark themselves against best practice in comparable units.

Beaumont is the second Irish hospital to achieve success in this international survey. Cork University Hospital ICU achieved a top ten ranking in 2008.