Malnutrition in the ICU

No matter what has happened to your critically ill patients, early and efficient feeding is a top priority. It won’t do any good to manage patients’ injuries or illness in ICU if their recovery is compromised by underlying malnutrition.[1] Yet, one in two patients are malnourished at admission and many more develop malnutrition during their hospitalization.

Despite the fact that timely and efficient feeding is often necessary to set critically ill patients on the path to recovery , malnutrition often flies under the radar.[1] According to the International Journal of Gerontology, malnutrition is “often unrecognized and associated with increased use of resources and negative outcomes such as increased complications, length of stay and mortality.” Malnourished patients are significantly more likely to develop pressure ulcers and infections. Although malnutrition affects patients of all ages and weights, older adults are particularly susceptible.[1] While malnutrition remains quite common, it is often undiagnosed and untreated. [1]

Fortunately, extended hospital stays, delayed recovery, complications like poor wound healing, and patient discomfort caused by poor nutrition and the complications from poor tube placements are usually preventable. Critical care nurses can play a key role in this process.

"Malnourished patients are significantly more likely to develop pressure ulcers and infections. "

Managing Malnutrition

CORTRAK* 2 Enteral Access System (EAS) offers timely feeding for your patients. This may help manage the risk of malnutrition. The system allows you to control the placement of feeding tubes and facilitate your patients’ successful recovery and optimal outcomes.

CORTRAK* 2 EAS technology can enable facilities to improve patient care and reduce the burden on patients and the hospital. The system consists of a computer monitor, receiver and transmitter stylet that provides real time representation of the feeding tube’s position, which can allow clinicians to immediately identify misplaced tubes. Plus, clinical studies indicate a high rate of first time successful bedside placement for small bowel feeding tubes with CORTRAK* 2 EAS. [2] That’s no small thing when your patient’s comfort and well-being is top of mind.

Correct Placement

As a critical care nurse, you are likely aware that the feeding tube should be placed correctly to ensure patients receive maximum nutritional support. These factors are essential to your patient’s nutrition and comfort, as well as to prevent injury. Yet, in many cases, multiple X-rays are required to confirm the correct position before feeding can even begin. CORTRAK* 2 EAS significantly reduces the need for X-ray verification and can minimize these delays to feeding.[2] What’s more, CORTRAK* 2 EAS is the only FDA-cleared device to confirm bedside tube placement without X-ray.

More Successful Outcomes

CORTRAK* 2 EAS can help you control the placement of feeding tubes and facilitate your patient’s recovery.  And for critically ill patients, improve patient care and reduce the burden on both hospital and patients.

The bottom line is that CORTRAK* 2 EAS can help put your patients on the path to recovery by facilitating timely feeding and combating the malnutrition that affects so many of your critical patients.


[1] Avelino-Silva, T. J. (2017 June). Malnutrition in hospitalized older patients: Management strategies to improve clinical care and outcomes. Retrieved from (Malnutrition in Hospitalized Older Patients asset)

[2] Medgadget. (2005, January 15). The CORTRAK System. Retrieved from (Cortak asset)