• Nutritional Services

    Meeting Our Patients’ Nutritional Needs

    Patients enduring long-term and critical or severe illnesses are often in some state of malnutrition. And malnourished bodies simply will not respond as well to therapies and medications as those properly nourished.

    Kindred Hospital’s full-time clinical dietitian coordinates her analysis and nutritional recommendations with patients’ physician(s), rehabilitation, respiratory and other staff to achieve three critical patient goals:

    1. Increase protein status
    2. Move patients nearer to their ideal body weights
    3. Use the least invasive means for nutritional support

    To achieve these goals, Kindred employs various nutrition modalities.

    • IV nutrition when appropriate. Variety of formulas for traditional tube feedings
    • The insertion of PEG tubes when appropriate (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy, a process that delivers nutrition directly into the stomach)
    • The insertion of G-J tubes when appropriate (Gastrostomy – Jejunostomy, a process that delivers nutrition directly into the small bowel and allows for medications to be administered into the stomach)
    • Variety of diets taken by mouth. (Patients having difficulty swallowing may receive a combination of food by mouth and food by tube to encourage and redevelop their appetite and swallowing ability.)

    A patient’s energy needs may be assessed through the use of indirect calorimetry, a method of comparing the volume of oxygen taken in to the carbon dioxide exhaled. This allows for determination of actual energy expenditure and evaluation of the appropriateness of current energy provision. We strive to provide accurate calories to prevent overfeeding as ventilator patients taking in too many calories may produce higher levels of carbon dioxide, thereby making their lungs work harder and ventilator weaning more difficult.

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