What is pediatric malnutrition?
Malnutrition is a big problem—not just in the U.S. but around the world. According to Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization, “Malnutrition is a complex issue, but it is the main cause of death and disease in the world.”1 And it’s no respecter of age. Babies, children, and teenagers can suffer from the detrimental effects of malnutrition.
Pediatric malnutrition is defined as “an imbalance between nutrient requirements and intake that results in cumulative deficits of energy, protein, or micronutrients that may negatively affect growth, development, and other relevant outcomes.”5 It may be caused by a disease or injury, which is usually the case in developed countries, and/or it may be caused by environmental, socioeconomic, or behavioral factors that lead to decreased nutrient intake.5 Although pediatric malnutrition is common, “its true prevalence is underreported and not well understood.”6
Babies, children, and teenagers who do not receive the nutrition they need to support adequate growth and development may experience negative consequences. Symptoms may include a thin or bloated appearance or a weakened immune system.7 Patients may also exhibit mood changes, faltering growth, and low energy levels.7,8
What impact does pediatric malnutrition have on patient outcomes?
Malnutrition can lead to adverse outcomes, including longer hospital stays and increased healthcare costs.4,9 Additionally, it can have lasting negative effects on pediatric patients, including stunting, which “often results in delayed mental development, poor school performance, and reduced intellectual capacity.”10
Nourishing pediatric patients with PN
Pediatric patients unable to receive adequate nutrition by mouth or enteral feeding may require PN to meet their nutritional goals.11 PN regimens often include lipid injectable emulsions (ILEs), which provide a noncarbohydrate source of energy and essential fatty acids.12,13
At Fresenius Kabi, we are dedicated to providing more options for patients who need PN.