Medical nutrition therapy for patients with malnutrition post-intensive care unit discharge: A case report of recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Nutr Clin Pract. 2021 Aug;36(4):820-827. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10728. Epub 2021 Jul 10.


Patients discharged from an intensive care unit (ICU) are frequently malnourished and experience ongoing inadequate nutrition intake because of a variety of barriers, which may lead to further declines in nutrition status. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has drawn increased awareness to this vulnerable patient population and the importance of nutrition rehabilitation to promote optimal recovery from acute illness. Despite this, there are no formal guidelines addressing medical nutrition therapy during the post-ICU recovery phase. This review provides an overview of the nutrition management of patients during the post-ICU recovery phase with a specific focus on COVID-19. A case study will demonstrate how medical nutrition therapy improved the nutrition status and quality of life for a patient who became severely malnourished after a prolonged hospitalization for COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; intensive care unit; malnutrition; medical nutrition therapy; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Malnutrition* / etiology
  • Malnutrition* / therapy
  • Nutrition Therapy*
  • Patient Discharge
  • Quality of Life
  • SARS-CoV-2