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Clinical Services at Rush Clinical Nutrition Assessment

Clinical Nutrition Assessment

A clinical dietitian at Rush completes a nutrition assessment on every patient who is at nutrition risk, as defined below. The dietitian will review the following information about the patient prior to practicing medical nutrition therapy:

  • Anthropometric indices (height, weight, weight change, BMI)
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Nutrition-related blood values
  • Nutrition-related medications
  • Food intake in the recent past
  • Difficulties chewing or swallowing
  • Food accessibility
  • Physical assessment

Nutrition Risk Assessment

Patients are considered at nutrition risk if they have:

  • BMI greater than 40 or less than 18
  • Significant weight loss or gain, which is a change in weight greater than 10 percent in last six months
  • Nothing by mouth (NPO) for more than five days
  • Multiple wounds or pressure ulcers
  • Braden score less than 12 and a nutrition score less than 2
  • Modified diet requiring explanation

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)

MNT is the development of a nutritional treatment plan based on the findings of a detailed assessment of a person's medical, surgical and social history, physical examination, and diet history. MNT is used by registered dietitians to prevent or treat a condition or complications of a nutrition-related condition, such as diabetes.

Nutrition Consultation Service

The Nutrition Consultation Service (NCS) has been a part of Rush University Medical Center for over 20 years. The NCS team is comprised of clinicians from the departments of Food and Nutrition, Pharmacy, Surgery, Gastroenterology and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine.

Our CNSD dietitians are experts in the areas of parenteral and enteral nutrition, medical and surgical intensive care, solid organ and stem cell transplant, and gastroenterology. The breadth and depth of the experience of our large and diverse faculty allows for optimal multidisciplinary care for patients.

  • Assess the nutrition status of critically ill patients utilizing appropriate anthropometric, laboratory and clinical data.
  • Create an evidence-based nutrition care plan assessing organ dysfunction and metabolic status.
  • Enteral and parenteral nutrition therapy for patients with a compromised gastrointestinal tract.
  • Critically evaluate current research topics and papers related to nutrition support and lead discussion in rounds.
  • NCS provides an ICU nutrition support practicum, which is a unique training opportunity for dietitians interested in nutrition support, particularly in the intensive care setting. For more information on this program please the Visitor Program's Web site through Rush University.

The Nutrition Consultation Service at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is staffed by a multidisciplinary nutrition support team consisting of registered dietitians and pharmacists. The team is codirected by a registered dietitian and a physician. Clinical staff are experienced in nutritional management of bone marrow transplant, surgical, gastroenterological and critically ill patients of all ages.







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