Chronic Illnesses and Nutritional Support in the Aftermath of Disasters
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Acute nutritional support of the healthy is not an emergency, but management of fluids and hydration may become one.
Patients receiving chronic nutritional support will likely be unsupported for periods of time, depending upon their individual preparation and the support and planning of the home health providers. Health care providers will need to assess the urgent versus emergent needs of these individuals.
Patient evacuation plans dictate ability to meet nutritional support needs.
Support of chronic patients requires preplanning and institutional support. Shelters, hospitals, government organizations may be able to provide a range of services, from minima to full support.
The expiration time for parenteral nutrition (PN) solution is limited. However, expiration time for enteric feeds may be extended.
Despite availability of nutritional support, significant loss of infrastructure (e.g., access to gasoline, lack of navigable roads) may delay delivery of support.