LAS VEGAS – Among 100 hip fracture patients at Salem (Ore.) Hospital, those fed within 24 hours left the hospital sooner, and fewer of them died. Other patients went up to a week without being fed.
Doctors might have overlooked nutrition or been put off by the notion that gastronomy feeding tubes don’t help in end-stage dementia. The Salem patients, however, didn’t have end-stage dementia and were being fed by nasogastric tubes. In an interview, Dr. Cynthia Wallace, medical director of Vibra Specialty Hospital in nearby Portland, explained that it’s time to broaden who’s authorized to order nutritional consults, so that patients don’t fall through the cracks.