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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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July 2008
December 2006
E. Jaul, P. Singer and R. Calderon-Margalit
 Background: Despite the ongoing debate on tube feeding among severely demented patients, the current approach in western countries is to avoid feeding by tube.

Objectives: To assess the clinical course and outcome of demented elderly patients with severe disabilities by feeding mode.

Methods: The study was conducted in a skilled nursing department of a major psychogeriatric hospital in Israel. Eighty-eight patients aged 79 ± 9 years were followed for 17 months: 62 were fed by nasogastric tube and 26 were orally fed. The groups were compared for background characteristics, underlying medical condition, functional impairment, clinical and nutritional outcomes, and survival.

Results: Tube feeding had no beneficial effect on clinical and nutritional outcomes or on healing preexisting pressure ulcers, compared with oral feeding. Very few patients on tube feeding showed signs of discomfort, partly because of low cognitive function. Survival was significantly higher in the tube-fed patients (P < 0.001), which could be partly explained by the different case mix (i.e., the underlying diseases)

Conclusions: Tube feeding seems to have no nutritional advantage in severely demented elderly patients. Median survival was longer in tube-fed individuals who had no acute co-morbidity. However, since tube feeding does not add to patient pain and discomfort, it should not be contraindicated when it complies with the values and wishes of patients and their families.

August 2006
August 2005
G.Y. Stein, Z. Fradin, Y. Ori, P. Singer, Y. Korobko and A. Zeidman
March 2005
J. Cohen, D. Starobin, G. Papirov, M. Shapiro, E. Grozovsky, M.R. Kramer and P. Singer
Background: While increasing numbers of patients require prolonged mechanical ventilation, resources for weaning are either limited (ICU beds) or inadequate (general wards).

Objectives: To report on our initial experience over a 7 month period with an eight-bed mechanical ventilation weaning unit.

Methods: Sixty-nine patients requiring MV[1] for >10 days were admitted to the unit (nurse:patient ratio 1:4). Data collected included reason for MV, duration of hospital stay, and MVWU[2] course. Outcome results (successful weaning and mortality) were compared to those in historic controls (patients ventilated in the general wards over a 4 month period prior to the MVWU; n = 100).

Results: The mean age of the patients was 68 ± 16.6 years and hospital stay prior to MVWU admission 28.6 ± 24.2 days (range 10–72). The main reasons for MV included acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (31%) and recent pneumonia (28%). Mean MVWU stay was 13.5 ± 15.7 days (range 1–72 days). Thirty-four patients (49%) underwent tracheostomy. Fourteen patients required admission to the ICU[3] due to deterioration in their status. Twenty-nine patients (42%) were successfully weaned and discharged to the wards. A further 20 patients were transferred to the chronic ventilation unit of a regional geriatric rehabilitation hospital, where 5 were subsequently weaned and 15 required prolonged ventilation. Compared to controls (matched for age and reason for mechanical ventilation), more MVWU patients underwent successful weaning (49% vs. 12%, P < 0.001) and their mortality rate (n = 12) was significantly lower (17% vs. 88%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The higher level of care possible in a MVWU may result in a significantly improved rate of weaning and lower mortality. The assessment of long-term outcome in patients discharged to pulmonary rehabilitation centers requires further investigation.


[1] MV = mechanical ventilation

[2] MVWU = mechanical ventilation weaning unit

[3] ICU = intensive care unit

September 2002
Pierre Singer, MD

Pressure sores are a well-recognized problem, with an etiology that is multifactorial and not solely a consequence of pressure itself. Malnutrition is one of the factors involved, namely low calorie and protein intake. Mainly elderly patients, patients after hip fracture, but also patients after trauma, burns or extended surgery require additional nutritional support to reduce the possibility of pressure ulcers developing. Evidence has shown the efficacy of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in elderly patients with malnutrition and dementia. Nutritional support should include sufficient calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Arginine is the main amino acid required and is essential for collagen deposition and wound healing. Vitamin A and zinc should be added to nutritional support.

April 2002
Jonathan Cohen, FCP (SA), Karina Chernov, RN, Ora Ben-Shimon, RN and Pierre Singer, MD
July 2000
Jonathan Cohen, FCP (S.A) Maury Shapiro, MD, Elad Grozovski, MD, Menashe Haddad, MD, Nissim Hananel, MD and Pierre Singer, MD,
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