Establishing a nutrition protocol with an accompanying algorithm allows a multidisciplinary team to make decisions to maintain or improve nutrition-related outcomes during the intensive care unit (ICU) stay. This descriptive pilot study included subjects (N = 11) recruited from a convenient sample of patients admitted for surgical implantation of a mechanical circulatory support device. Nutritional and strength measures were compared across 3 time intervals: preoperatively, postoperative day 3, and within 48 hours of transfer from ICU. The mean age of the sample was 60 ± 8 years. Overall, subjects maintained preoperative nutritional status demonstrated by a nonsignificant change in the nutritional and strength measures from the preoperative period compared to transfer from ICU. The nutrition protocol with algorithm provided a step-by-step approach to ensure a consistent nutritional plan of care. It also standardized nutritional care while ensuring safe practice.

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