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Found 13 results
  1. Content Article
    Total parenteral nutrition (TPN, also known as PN) is a method of providing nutrition directly into the bloodstream to those unable to absorb nutrients from the food they eat. TPN is used in all age groups, but in babies its use is often as part of a temporary planned programme of nutrition to supplement milk feeds in those too immature to suckle or too sick to receive milk feeds as a result of intestinal conditions. TPN consists of both aqueous and lipid components, which are infused separately into the baby via specific administration sets and infusion pumps. The rate at which TPN is administered to a baby is crucial: if infused too fast there is a risk of fluid overload, potentially leading to coagulopathy, liver damage and impaired pulmonary function as a result of fat overload syndrome. In a recent three and a half year period 10 incidents were identified where infusion of the aqueous and/or lipid component of TPN at the incorrect rate resulted in severe harm to babies through pulmonary collapse, intraventricular haemorrhage or organ damage, and where intensive intervention and treatment were needed. Most of these incidents involved too rapid a rate of infusion.
  2. Content Article
    In my 15 years focusing on developing drink thickening solutions for dysphagia patients, the intersection of dysphagia management and patient safety has become increasingly apparent. Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, presents not only as a significant health challenge but also as a critical patient safety issue. The condition's underdiagnosis, particularly in vulnerable populations, heightens the risk of severe complications, including choking, aspiration pneumonia, dehydration and the profound fear of choking that can lead to malnutrition.
  3. News Article
    A North Wales coroner has concluded there was a ‘gross failure’ in the case of a coeliac patient, who tragically died in Wrexham Maelor hospital. Mrs Hazel Pearson, 79, had coeliac disease and a number of other medical conditions and died from aspiration pneumonia four days after being given Weetabix for breakfast while at the hospital. Whilst her coeliac disease was noted on her admission records, there was no sign above her bed and staff were unaware of her dietary needs and as a result Mrs Pearson had been fed gluten containing food on multiple occasions. Tristan Humphreys, Head of Advocacy for Coeliac UK said: “We are deeply saddened and concerned by this verdict and our thoughts go out to Mrs Pearson’s loved ones at this very difficult time. Her death reflects a clear failure of care and it is patently unacceptable that this was allowed to happen. Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune condition for which the only treatment is a medically prescribed gluten free diet. It is critical that people with coeliac disease can access the gluten free food they need to be healthy. This is all the more important when someone is unwell and, as in Mrs Pearson’s tragic case, unable to advocate for themselves. Wales has mandatory food standards which make very clear the level of care that should be provided yet these have not been met. As a charity, we are empowering patients, family members, carers and working with hospital caterers by providing advice and guidance to support safe provision of gluten free food. However, it’s high time the health service consistently delivered the care people with coeliac disease deserve.” Read full story Source: Coeliac UK, 24 November 2023
  4. News Article
    A hospital for adults with eating disorders has been rated inadequate after inspectors found the provision of food was "unsafe and unacceptable". A Care Quality Commission (CQC) report of the Schoen Clinic in York said some patients were given mouldy bread and one was served food containing plastic. Concerns were also raised around lack of staff and patient safety, though wards were clean and well-equipped. Schoen Clinic Group said issues raised in the report "were quickly addressed". Following the inspection in January the hospital has been placed in special measures and will be visited again in six months. Brian Cranna, CQC's head of hospital inspection, said: "The standards of care we found at Schoen Clinic York were putting patients at risk and so we have taken urgent enforcement action, which means the service must improve if it's to retain its registration." According to the report patients were put at risk of "physical and psychological harm due to unsafe and unacceptable food provision". Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 April 2022
  5. News Article
    Only 60% of patients who have had hospital treatment for food anaphylaxis were prescribed medicine to tackle another reaction, a study has found. The study of some 130,000 NHS records where food allergy was mentioned showed 3,589 patients received "unplanned hospital treatment" for anaphylaxis. Of those, only 2,152 were prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors (AAI) at least once. Two leading allergy specialists have produced guidance to raise awareness. Clinical scientist Dr Paul Turner from the National Heart & Lung Institute at Imperial College London, who carried out the study, and Prof Adam Fox, consultant paediatric allergist at Evelina London Children's Hospital, said they hoped the leaflet they have produced would save lives. It is designed to help patients, parents, families, grandparents, friends and nannies so they feel empowered and more confident when looking after a person with food allergies. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 October 2023
  6. News Article
    A two-month-old baby died after doctors mistook symptoms of a suspected perforated bowel for a cow’s milk intolerance. Nailah Ally was diagnosed with a hole in the heart before she was born and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) shortly after her birth in October 2019. Nailah died from multiple organ failure after she was sent home from hospital and went into septic shock A consultant believed Nailah might have an intolerance to cow’s milk and changed the formula she was being fed. A spokesman for the family said: “Nailah’s case not only vividly highlights the dangers of sepsis, but the potential consequences of poor communication between doctors as well as between doctors and families.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 7 March 2023
  7. Content Article
    There has been an increasing trend in commercially available diagnostic tests for food allergy and intolerance, but many of these tests lack an evidence base. In this article, Philippe Bégin from the University of Montreal describes the risks involved with using unproven diagnostic tests for food allergies and intolerances. He highlights that alongside their high cost, they may lead to false diagnoses, with associated anxiety and unnecessary strict avoidance diets. They may also lead truly allergic people to believe they are not allergic to certain foods, which could cause them to eat a food that gives them a life-threatening reaction. He also provides a list of tests that are offered to consumers, but that are unproven and should be avoided.
  8. Content Article
    This study from Baseggio Conrado et al. describe time trends for hospital admissions due to food anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom over the past 20 years. The authors found that hospital admissions for food induced anaphylaxis have increased from 1998 to 2018, however the case fatality rate has decreased. In school aged children, cow’s milk is now the most common single cause of fatal anaphylaxis.
  9. Content Article
    In this blog for the hub, Tim McLachlan, Chief Executive of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, highlights the lack of support available for patients and their families who spend their lives trying to keep either themselves or their children safe. To date there has been little attention, importance and investment given to NHS allergy services and this, he says, needs to change.
  10. Content Article
    The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) is a global standard with terminology and definitions to describe the texture-modified foods and the thickened fluids sometimes used for individuals with dysphagia. IDDSI applies to all ages, in all care settings, and for all cultures. The IDDSI framework consists of a continuum of 8 levels (0-7). Levels are identified by text labels, numbers, and colour codes to improve safety and identification. Each level has standardised descriptors and simple testing methods so that people can consistently produce the required thickness of drinks and/or texture of foods.
  11. News Article
    The death of a young disabled woman following a routine eye operation was partly caused by malnutrition as a result of neglect, a coroner has ruled. Laura Booth, 21, was admitted to the Royal Hallamshire hospital in Sheffield in September 2016 for a routine eye operation. She died the next month, on 19 October. Booth had a number of learning difficulties and life-limiting complications, having been diagnosed with partial trisomy 13, a rare genetic disorder, shortly after she was born. Her mother, Patricia Booth, told the inquest that her daughter stopped eating shortly after she was admitted to hospital, and that doctors ignored Laura’s attempts to communicate with them. She said her daughter consumed only rice milk and blackcurrant juice in hospital, and she kept telling doctors: “This isn’t right, she can’t survive on no food.” The coroner, Abigail Combes, concluded that Laura Booth became unwell while a patient at the hospital and, among other illnesses, “developed malnutrition due to inadequate management for her nutritional needs”. Combes said that Booth’s death “was contributed to by neglect”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 26 April 2021
  12. Content Article

    Self-isolation may be a pipe dream

    As a carer of my wife who has several chronic underlying health conditions, and a couple myself, we have been in self-isolation for a week already. However, circumstances may mean that this has to end soon.
  13. Content Article
    Dysphagia (swallowing problems) occurs in all care settings and although the true incidence and prevalence are unknown, it is estimated the condition can occur in up to 30% of people aged over 65 years of age. Stroke, neurodegenerative diseases and learning disabilities can be the cause of some cases of dysphagia, and may also result in cognitive or intellectual impairment, as well as visual impairment, NHS England received details of an incident where a care home resident died following the accidental ingestion of the thickening powder that had been left within their reach. Whilst it is important that products remain accessible, all relevant staff need to be aware of potential risks to patient safety. Appropriate storage and administration of thickening powder needs to be embedded within the wider context of protocols, bedside documentation, training programmes and access to expert advice required to safely manage all aspects of the care of individuals with dysphagia. Individualised risk assessment and care planning is required to ensure that vulnerable people are identified and protected.
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