The role of nutritional supplements

BMI should ideally be over 20. BMI 18.5 – 20 indicates that nutritional stores are already low or even depleted; this therefore scores 1 on the MUST score (which combines BMI with amount of weight loss and presence/absence of acute reduction in consumption). BMI <18.5 indicates high likelihood of nutritional compromise.

  • MUST score 0 – screen monthly.
  • MUST score 1 – observe intake over three days and go to monthly screening if adequate. If not, ‘follow local policy, set goals, observe overall nutritional intake, monitor care plan regularly.’ Bit vague, then.
  • MUST score 2 – refer to dietician. Or ‘implement local policy’, but I’d just go with dietician.

Food boosting may be sufficient if there has been gradual weight loss with a defined cause, and if the patient is not imminently expecting surgery (which requires optimisation of nutritional status for best outcome).

(Pulse on-line educational module)

Selected because: This comes up all the time at the care home. Thought it would be useful to know something more about it than ‘Prescribe Complan’.

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About Dr Sarah

I'm a GP with a husband and two young children.
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