A hip fracture, particularly among seniors, increases the risk of malnutrition. Unintentional weight loss is likely due to the increased energy requirements that occur following trauma and surgery, which may stay raised for as long as three months afterwards. Reduced appetite is also common after an operation, which compounds weight loss. However, another reason why malnutrition is common after a hip fracture is that the people who often suffer a fall and fracture are already frail, meaning that any weight loss during a hospital admission compromises their already poor nutritional status. With as many as half of all patients with a hip fracture unable to meet their nutritional requirements, they deteriorate while in hospital, which hinders their recovery and lengthens their stay. While all patients should be screened for malnutrition on admission to hospital, it is especially important to assess nutritional risk among patients with a hip fracture.
Patients identified as either malnourished or at high risk of malnutrition benefit from interventions to increase their intake of calories and protein. Research shows that use of high-protein high-calorie supplements reduces complications, length of stay and mortality among people with a hip fracture. However, simply providing additional snacks that are high in calories and protein can also significantly increase dietary intake and improve outcomes for patients who suffer a hip fracture.
When we provide home health care services, our skilled nurse assesses nutritional risk for patients following a hip fracture surgery and coordinates with nutritionist for a meaningful recovery. Quality and Safety of your healthcare is important to us.