Infuse Issue 14 October 2021 - Page 35

Considering enteral feeding for a personwith delirium requires a person centred and multidisciplinary approach to weigh up the risks of tube placement and feeding against benefits of adequate nutrition . Physical restraints ( including mittens ) or chemical sedation to facilitate enteral feeding is not appropriate ; instead , consider the use of fiddle blankets or other distracting activities . Bolus feeding will reduce the tether to an IV pole and facilitate mobility . If safe , continuing to provide even a small amount of food and sips of fluids is important to provide pleasure and maintain meaningful routines . You can encourage family to help with this – their familiar faces will make a world of difference to a person ’ s delirium .
Delirium is a common , serious and distressing condition that shares many similarities with malnutrition , in both its complex presentation and how we should approach its management .

Dietitians are ideally placed to take a lead role in preventing delirium , which will have the added benefit of preventing malnutrition , too .

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© Dietitian Connection 35 Infuse | October 2021