You are a physician in a large metropolitan hospital working in the emergency room. Your patient is, Laura, the 65 year old wife of a retired D.O., she has been hospitalized following a stroke. During physical examination, Laura says she is able to swallow easily. (She does not have dysphagia.) You find that she appears to be well nourished and does not seem to have trouble eating.
Her husband believes that you should order a protein energy supplement for her. He says it is appropriate to order oral protein energy supplements for all hospitalized stroke patients because malnutrition is sometimes a problem in stroke patients and nutritional supplements may aid in reducing the risk of death or serious disability over a period of several months.
Laura appears to be eating very well on her own and you wonder whether or not adding an oral protein energy supplement to Laura’s routine hospital diet will decrease her risk of death or serious disability over the next several months.
You decide to research the answer and make a decision based on the best available evidence. You use a point-of-care database and make a treatment decision within minutes.