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Intestinal Failure. Presented by Dr Sharon Carey, PhD, Adv APD

Sharon defined intestinal failure and explained the classification of Type I, II and III intestinal failure. In her presentation she focused on the nutrition assessment and management of people with Type III intestinal failure.

She explained the assessment process of Anthropometry, Biochemistry, Clinical (including fluid balance and medications) and Diet.

Management of intestinal failure requires a stepped approach; initially looking for clinical improvements with a modified diet, then if necessary the introduction medication and fluids (with a focus on the correct strength of oral rehydration fluid), and finally oral and enteral nutrition support, vitamin and mineral supplementation.

Intestinal failure is a serious gastrointestinal condition requiring careful assessment and a well-managed nutrition plan. These are complex patients. Sharon encourages us, if we need to, to seek advice from our nearest tertiary referral hospital that manages home parenteral nutrition.

Dr Sharon Carey is currently the head of dietetics at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia, involving the day-to-day and strategic management of dietitians and dietitian assistants. Sharon has also been working as a gastrointestinal specialist Dietitian for over 10 years. She has a specific interest in major gastrointestinal surgery including intestinal failure. Sharon completed her PhD through the University of Sydney in 2013, which involved an in depth look at the long-term nutritional consequences of major upper gastrointestinal surgeries, and the impact the surgery has on quality of life. In 2008 she was awarded a Churchill Scholarship for her work in the nutritional management of intestinal failure and has continued to provide clinical services to this group of patients as well as advocacy, research and education.

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