Ľubomír Skladaný, Martin Kliment
It is in the very spirit of malnutrition that it has too low an energy to produce speciffic leading signs and is, therefore, underdiagnosed. However, if we are – at least in cohorts at risk - expectant or, better, searching, the diagnosis is easy. Clues are unintentional weight loss and history of disease - particularly one which impaires sense of taste and hunger, ability to obtain food, eat and assimilate it. The look at the patient, the touch, simple measurements, and readily available laboratory examinations are usually sufficient for diagnosis to be confirmed. Overlooking malnutrition can lead to prolonged hospital stay, increased morbidity, and mortality of patients with various diagnoses. Timely and proper nutritional intervention preferentially by enteral route can ameliorate or abolish these consequences. For enteral nutrition to be implemented it is necessary to calculate its daily dose, decide about the need of tube and, if indicated, choose its type. Particular pharmaceutical formula is then selected according to primary diagnosis of the patient. Monitoring treatment success and anticipating specific complications round the circle of proper nutritional treatment.