Critical appraisal of the management of severe malnutrition: 3 Complications

Brewster, David R. (2006) Critical appraisal of the management of severe malnutrition: 3 Complications. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 42 (10). pp. 583-593.

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Abstract: The high case-fatality of severe malnutrition is due to infections, dehydration, electrolyte disturbances and heart failure. We focus on the evidence about managing these complications of severe malnutrition. Signs of circulatory collapse in severely malnourished children should be treated with intravenous or bone marrow infusion of Ringer's lactate with additional dextrose and potassium at a rate 20–40 mL/kg fast with close monitoring of vital signs. Recommendations for slow or restricted fluids in the face of shock are unsafe, and hypotonic or maintenance solutions must be avoided to prevent hyponatraemia. However, the evidence that severely malnourished children do not tolerate excessive fluid administration is good, so caution must be exercised with regards to fluids in the initial phase of treatment. There is also good evidence that wide spectrum antibiotics need to be given empirically for severe malnutrition to prevent the otherwise unavoidable early mortality. There is a need for improved protocols for tuberculosis diagnosis, HIV management and treatment of infants under 6 months with severe malnutrition. The contribution of environmental enteropathy to poor growth and nutrition during the weaning period means that there should be more priority on improving environmental health, particularly better hygiene and less overcrowding. A T-cell mediated enteropathy contributes to growth failure and malnutrition, and it is related to environmental contamination of enteric organisms in the weaning period rather than allergic responses.

Item ID: 10389
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1754
Keywords: HIC; hypoglycaemia; hypophosphataemia; malnutrition; sepsis; TB
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2010 06:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111403 Paediatrics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health @ 100%
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