Friday, 26 May 2017

Financial fuel for ANZIC-RC energy study

Congratulations to Emma Ridley from SPHPM’s Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC). Emma has been instrumental in securing a $2.4 million grant from Baxter Healthcare to expand on her recent study.

Emma is an Intensive Care Dietitian and is the program manager of the Centre’s nutrition sub-group. This is the biggest grant the sub-group has received. She says,

“This larger study will help us better understand which combination of nutrition puts patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and on the wards in the best position to get well and home quicker.”

Many people in ICUs are unable to eat or drink normally. Feeding options include delivering nutrition directly to the stomach or bowel via a tube through the nose (nasogastric enteral nutrition) or directly into the blood stream for patients who can’t digest (parenteral nutrition).

Emma’s pilot study was the first in Australia to explore combining enteral with parenteral nutrition. One hundred patients received the experimental combined nutrition or standard care for their first seven days in ICU. The combined nutrition successfully delivered 50% more energy and protein to the patients.

Unfortunately, there were no differences in the clinical outcomes seen, such as number of infections, number of days spent in ICU, length of stay in hospital, length of time on ventilator and general patient strength.

One possible reason is that the benefits of the additional energy may have been lost once participants were switched to standard feeding regimes after their first seven days in ICU. This larger trial will provide patients with the experimental nutrition for the entire duration of their ICU stay and on the hospital ward after they are discharged from ICU. It will also cover costs associated with increased dietitian care during ward stays. Emma says, 

“We plan to involve 12 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand for this trial. It’s a big boost for the ANZIC-RC’s nutrition team which is really exciting.”

You can read more about the vital research the ANZIC-RC team does here.

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