What do critical care dietitians do?


Specialist area: 

Critical Care

What critical care dietitians help with: 

If you experience a life-threatening illness or injury, your nutritional needs will change. Your critical care dietitian will make sure you get the right amount of nutrition, at the right time and in the right way, to support your recovery. They can also advise you on eating and drinking well after you leave intensive care. 

Who do critical care dietitians help?

Critical care dietitians can help anyone with a life-threatening illness or injury. This includes children, adults and older people.

Critical care dietitians work with a team of skilled staff and can support patients on the intensive care unit 

How do critical care dietitians work?

Critical care dietitians work with your consultants, nurses and other health professionals to optimise your nutritional care. 

When you are extremely unwell, your nutritional needs may change on a daily basis. Critical care dietitians are specially trained to adapt your nutrition plan quickly if your condition changes. 

If you are unable to eat and drink, your critical care dietitian will help you get the nutrition you need through a tube - either into your gut or straight into your blood supply.

Once you are able to eat and drink again you may have ongoing problems with reduced appetite, taste changes or swallowing difficulties. Your critical care dietitian can advise you on how to get the nutrition you need.

Where do critical care dietitians work?

You are most likely to see your critical care dietitian on intensive care and high dependency units in a hospital. You may also see them once you have moved to a ward or in a clinic after you have been discharged, for follow up support.

Further info:
•    Are you a BDA member dietitian working or interested in critical care? If so, why not join the BDA Critical Care Specialist Group
•    ICUsteps