Nutritional status of pediatric burn patients hospitalised at Kenyatta National Hospital using anthropometric measurements
Background: Pediatric bum patients are prone to under nutrition due to the hyper metabolic response that increases their metabolic demands and it can go on for prolonged periods. Children have limited energy stores and this makes them vulnerable to deficiencies if appropriate nutritional support and monitoring is not offered. Objectives: To defire the nutritional status of pediatric burn patients admitted. to Kenyatta Nationat Hospital (KNH) at admission and after two weeks, to describe the patterns of change and the factors assocated with deterioration in nutritional status. Methodology: A prospective cohort study of patients below 13 years admitted to the Plastic Surgical Unit. Patients were recruited at admission by consecutive sampling over a period of 6 months with their details collected using a questionnaire. Their anthropometric measurements were taken on the 3rd and 14th day after admission. Results: The proportion of patients with normal nutritional status changed from 83% to 63% using tile Weight for Height Z scores (WHZ) and from 63% to 57% using the Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC). Thirty two percent of the patients lost >10% of their baseline weight between the two measurements. Age and pre burn nutritional status were found to be significantly associated with deterioration in nutritional status. Conclusion: One in five of the pediatric burn patients had deterioration in nutritional status with those having an abnormal MUAC being at highest risk of losing >10% of their weight within the two weeks post admission.