Malnutrition in the ICU patient population

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Malnutrition has been identified as a cause for disease as well as a condition resulting from inflammation associated with acute or chronic disease. Malnutrition is common in acute-care settings, occurring in 30% to 50% of hospitalized patients. Inflammation has been associated with malnutrition and malnutrition has been associated with compromised immune status, infection, and increased intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay. The ICU nurse is in the best position to advocate for appropriate nutritional therapies and facilitate the safe delivery of nutrition.