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BackgroundData on nutrition delivery over the whole hospital admission in critically ill patients with COVID-19 are scarce, particularly in the Australian setting.ObjectivesThe objective of this study was to describe nutrition delivery in critically ill patients admitted to Australian intensive care units (ICUs) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with a focus on post-ICU nutrition practices.MethodsA multicentre observational study conducted at nine sites included adult patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis admitted to the ICU for >24 h and discharged to an acute ward over a 12-month recruitment period from 1 March 2020. Data were extracted on baseline characteristics and clinical outcomes. Nutrition practice data from the ICU and weekly in the post-ICU ward (up to week four) included route of feeding, presence of nutrition-impacting symptoms, and nutrition support received.ResultsA total of 103 patients were included (71% male, age: 58 ± 14 years, body mass index: 30±7 kg/m2), of whom 41.7% (n = 43) received mechanical ventilation within 14 days of ICU admission. While oral nutrition was received by more patients at any time point in the ICU (n = 93, 91.2% of patients) than enteral nutrition (EN) (n = 43, 42.2%) or parenteral nutrition (PN) (n = 2, 2.0%), EN was delivered for a greater duration of time (69.6% feeding days) than oral and PN (29.7% and 0.7%, respectively). More patients received oral intake than the other modes in the post-ICU ward (n = 95, 95.0%), and 40.0% (n = 38/95) of patients were receiving oral nutrition supplements. In the week after ICU discharge, 51.0% of patients (n = 51) had at least one nutrition-impacting symptom, most commonly a reduced appetite (n = 25; 24.5%) or dysphagia (n = 16; 15.7%).ConclusionCritically ill patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia were more likely to receive oral nutrition than artificial nutrition support at any time point both in the ICU and in the post-ICU ward, whereas EN was provided for a greater duration when it was prescribed. Nutrition-impacting symptoms were common.

Original publication





Australian critical care : official journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses

Publication Date



Intensive Care Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Adelaide Medical School, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Centre of Research Excellence in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. Electronic address: