There is a new piece of equipment at the Chinook Regional Hospital. It can give the exact amount of nutrition to critically ill patients who are on feeding tubes or attached to an IV. It’s called the indirect calorimeter and registered dietitian Lauren Tweel explains how it works.
“An indirect calorimeter is basically the gold standard for determining a patient’s energy requirements. It does this by measuring a patient’s CO2 production and oxygen consumption as they breathe in and out. This allows us to accurately determine a patient’s energy requirements so that we can optimize the nutrition support plans that we give our patients and it helps to minimize underfeeding and overfeeding. By using an indirect calorimeter it allows the dieticians a non-invasive approach to tailoring our nutrition care plans for our patients with unique needs and accuracy and it helps to optimize recovery,” said Lauren Tweel, Dietician with the Chinook Regional Hospital.
The indirect calorimeter was donated by the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation and costs about $35,000.