Berlin When admitting COVID-19 patients, doctors should watch out for signs of malnutrition, especially if the patient comes from the intensive care unit. The German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM) points this out and recommends general screening.
Study data from the first wave of the corona pandemic show that a high proportion of inpatient COVID-19 patients show signs of malnutrition. The report of French doctors in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN (Clinical Nutrition Espen 2020; DOI: 10.1016 / j.clnesp.2020.09.018) according to 42.1 percent of the COVID-19 patients admitted to a normal ward, 18.4 percent were malnourished and even serious.
Of the patients who had previously been cared for in the intensive care unit, as many as two thirds were malnourished. To assess malnutrition, Dorothe Bedock from the Hpital Universitaire Piti Salptrire in Paris and her co-authors used the criteria of the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM).
However, the study could not distinguish whether the poor nutritional status of the patients was due to the COVID-19 disease or had already existed before. However, it can be assumed that the disease at least made it worse, said Matthias Pirlich, 2nd Vice President of the DGEM.
COVID-19 brings with it many symptoms that make eating difficult, such as loss of smell and taste, severe exhaustion and nausea. At the same time, the loss of energy and nutrients due to overflow and high fever is great. The pronounced inflammatory reaction leads to a breakdown of the muscles.
Even if the significance of the observed deficiencies for the further course of the disease is still unclear, the specialist society evaluates the high proportion of malnourished COVID-19 patients as a clear alarm signal.
The professional association therefore recommends that COVID-19 patients be examined for their nutritional status as soon as they are admitted to the clinic and, if necessary, given nutritional care during their inpatient stay. © nec / aerzteblatt.de