Objectives: To determine the incidence of malnutrition in pediatric patients admitted in a critical care unit and to evaluate the value of SGA as a nutrition assessment tool in this patient group. Patients and Method: The study included 260 pediatric patients aged one month to 6 years who were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at Sri Ramachandra Hospital from January, 2010 to April, 2011. Weight of each patient was checked using a weighing pan/scale and evaluated using IAP Weight for Age criteria (W/A). Nutrition related history according to SGA protocol was taken from the care takers of each patient by a trained nutritionist. Data from the SGA history was summarized into one of three class groups; A-well nourished, B-moderately malnourished and C-severely malnourished. Results: Overall, around 50.4% of our study subjects were well nourished, 34.5% were moderately malnourished and 16.1% were severely malnourished. SGA was able to identify malnourished subjects with 86.71% sensitivity and specificity of 86.36% when compared with IAP weight for age criteria. Conclusions: SGA is a sensitive and specific nutrition assessment tool useful in pediatric patients admitted in a critical care unit. Application of the protocol as a complement of standard anthropometric tool can be considered.
Keywords : Malnutrition, Subjective Global Assessment, Critically ill Paediatrics, Nutritional assessment.