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Perioperative nutrition is still a surgical orphan: results of a Swiss-Austrian survey.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Background/Objectives:There is strong evidence for the beneficial effects of perioperative nutrition in patients undergoing major surgery. We aimed to evaluate implementation of current guidelines in Switzerland and Austria.Subjects/Methods:A survey was conducted in 173 Swiss and Austrian surgical departments. We inquired about nutritional screening, perioperative nutrition and estimated clinical significance.Results:The overall response rate was 55%, having 69% (54/78) responders in Switzerland and 44% (42/95) in Austria. Most centres were aware of reduced complications (80%) and shorter hospital stay (59%). However, only 20% of them implemented routine nutritional screening. Non-compliance was because of financial (49%) and logistic restrictions (33%). Screening was mainly performed in the outpatient's clinic (52%) or during admission (54%). The nutritional risk score was applied by 14% only; instead, various clinical (78%) and laboratory parameters (56%) were used. Indication for perioperative nutrition was based on preoperative screening in 49%. Although 23% used preoperative nutrition, 68% applied nutritional support pre- and postoperatively. Preoperative nutritional treatment ranged from 3 days (33%), to 5 (31%) and even 7 days (20%).Conclusions:Although malnutrition is a well-recognised risk factor for poor post-operative outcome, surgeons remain reluctant to implement routine screening and nutritional support according to evidence-based guidelines.
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