The Malnutrition Action Group (MAG) has issued practical guidelines to help care homes during the pandemic.
The advice for using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) covers specific issues such as the physiological effects of COVID-19 infection, including a lack of appetite and a loss of taste and smell.
It also includes advice on management strategies, including ventilation and breathing support devices. There are also tips for carers whose physical access to some residents might be restricted.
MAG said the most objective way of screening a patient with MUST is to obtain physical measurements of weight and height. This can be done remotely.
Other signs of unplanned weight loss can include loose-fitting clothes, decreased food intake or dysphagia.
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