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Gwinnett Medical Center Chosen to Participate in International ICU Study


Lawrenceville, GA—Health practitioners in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Gwinnett Medical Center are hoping to improve the quality of care received by their critically ill patients by participating in an international survey of nutrition therapies in ICUs.

The prevalence of malnutrition is high in ICUs and has a negative impact on clinical outcomes. Providing patients with the right nutrition improves would healing, boosts the immune system, and helps the gut work more effectively, which together favorably influences the chance of surviving critical illness. The Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition Support in Mechanically Ventilated Critically Ill Patients published in 2003, and most recently updated in 2009, provided guidance to ICU practitioners on how best to feed their patients. However, previous surveys of nutrition therapy have shown that considerable variability exists in how nutrition therapies are delivered in practice. These observations provided the impetus for Dr. Daren Heyland, director of the Clinical Evaluation Research Unit at Kingston General Hospital, Ontario, Canada to conduct an international survey to define actual practice, highlight strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities for improvement. The survey has previously been conducted in both 2007 and 2008.

Over 150 ICUs from around the World (including Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Japan) are participating in this year’s survey. On September 16th 2009, registered dieticians, intensivists, neurosurgeons and trauma surgeons at Gwinnett Medical Center will start to collect data on the clinical condition, nutritional status, nutrition received, and outcomes of 20 critically ill patients. Data will be entered online over a period of 3 months using a web-based data collection tool.  

At the end of the study, Gwinnett Medical Center’s ICU will receive a benchmarked performance report, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to other ICUs throughout the World, and to the Canadian guidelines.  

This report will be of significant value, illuminating opportunities for improvement, informing future educational initiatives, and hopefully translating into improved clinical outcomes for our critically ill patients.

Further Information:

Lauren Murch
Project Assistant     
E-Mail: murchl(at)   
Tel: 613-549-6666 ext.4146
Clinical Evaluation Research Unit
Kingston General Hospital
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Local Contact:
Andrea Wehrmann
Public Relations Coordinator
Gwinnett Medical Center
100 Medical Center Blvd., Suite 257
Lawrenceville, GA  30045
770-682-2280 (FAX)
E-Mail: awehrmann(at)

About Gwinnett Medical Center
Now celebrating the 25th anniversary of its flagship campus, Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network providing award-winning healthcare services to the Gwinnett community and beyond. Campuses in both Duluth and Lawrenceville provide acute care, outpatient services, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services. Digital imaging is the standard of care at all GMC facilities including the newest imaging center in north Gwinnett’s Hamilton Mill area. In 2008, GMC’s 4,300 associates and 800 physicians served more than 400,000 patients. Gwinnett Medical Center’s incredible vision for the future is Project PATH—planning, advancing and transforming healthcare.