Objectives: This study compared the computed nutrient requirements of geriatric patients under critical care with their actual intake within the first 3 d after admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and determined the percentage of patients who achieved adequate intake.
Methods: Fifty-eight geriatric patients who were admitted to the ICU from September to December 2002 were prospectively enrolled. Recommended and actual calorie intakes per patient were recorded and mean amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat consumed were calculated. Student's t test was used to compare actual with recommended nutrient intakes.
Results: Actual in relation to recommended nutrient intake was inadequate (41.5% on day 1 to 71.7% on day 3 for calories and 21.1% on day 1 to 24.3% on day 3 for protein, P < 0.001). Carbohydrate intake was low (falling from 61.9% on day 1 to 39.8% on day 3, P < 0.001) and fat intake was also low (increasing from 29.4% to 37.9% on day 3, P < 0.001). The percentage of patients who achieved adequate intake was 51.2% on day 1 and increased to 73.2% on day 3.
Conclusions: The intake of geriatric patients in the ICU is low, with differences in actual and recommended intakes. Delivering what is recommended is still a goal to be realized in the ICU setting.