Malnutrition and Nursing role and Responsibilities


Malnutrition Definition

It is a nutritional disorder which is especially harmful during infancy, the period when growth is most rapid.

Types of malnutrition :

1- Marasmus:-body weight is less than 60% of expected wt. without edema.

2- Kwashiorkor;-body wt. 60-80% of expected wt. with edema.

Marasmus kwashiorkor

a- without edema with edema

b- alert depressed

c- normal colour red man

Causes of malnutrition

1- Inadequate diet due to poverty.

2- Feeding mismanagement.

3- Physical defect e.g. :cleft lip, cleft palate.

4- Chronic disease e .g :cardiac disease cystic fibrosis, chronic infection.

5- Emotional problem such as disturbed mother-child relations.


1- Dietary survey to establish the probability of malnutrition.

2- Symptoms of failure to thrive from measurement of wt., height or length, o.f.c.

3- Laboratory finding: C.B.P. may reveal hypo chromic anemia, plasma protein level is lowered.


1- infection.

2- nutritional anemia.

3- nutritional edema.

4- dehydration.

5- hypothermia.

6- hypoglycemia.

Approach to treatment of malnutrition:

1- Medical treatment.

2- Dietary treatment ——feeding ——minerals, vitamin supplement

3-Social and emotional——-education. —– show the family how to feed a child.

Treatment and responsibility of nurse:

1- Total parenteral alimentation: to provide an infusate of glucose, amino acid,electrolyte,vitamins.This solution is given through a catheter in the superior vena cava.

2- The nurse must notice any elevation in the temperature or hypothermia.

3- The nurse is also responsible for measuring urine output.

4- Daily weighing.

5- Initial oral feeding should be low in quantities and calories.

6- Small but frequent blood transfusion to correct anemia.

7- Vitamins A,B,C,D may be given.

8- Change the position frequently.

9- Should be isolated since his resistance is low.

10- He should be watched for sign of peripheral collapse.

11- Accurate detailed charting include the amount of feeding taken,refused,vomited,number and kind of stool and whether abdominal distention is present.

12- Treatment of infection.

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Posted in Nursing Care Plans, Nursing Intervention, Pediatrics

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