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Intensive care - a new field of application for the BIA?

The Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA) is used for measuring a patient's body composition, it's an established method with many clinical uses primarily within the medical fields of nutrition, rehabilitation and sports medicine. Benefits also extend to cardiological, oncological and nephrological patients. In recent years scientific interest has increased focus on the use of BIA in intensive care. Here it is used to control the hydration and nutritional status of critical patients.

One of the key challenges faced by critically ill patients are acute malnutrition and imbalance of water within the body. Managing  liquid intake is especially important, since hyperhydration is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. A large number of critically ill patients usually suffer from it or develop it during the course of their hospital stay. Identifying hyperhydration and malnutrition as early as possible, helps treat patients more adequately. It also influences the course of the patient's disease and greatly improves the patient's prognosis.

Conventional measures such as regular weight checks to monitor the balance of body fluids are often imprecise or impractical for critically ill patients. The BIA offers an alternative method by measuring the patient's overall body composition. It is precise, non-invasive and cost-effective. BIA detects even the smallest shifts in body fluids, allowing for easy adjustments of the patient‘s water balance.

The seca mBCA 525 is specifically designed as a mobile device, this is so it can be easily used by a patient's bedside. As a medically validated device, it emits no ionizing radiation. In just a few seconds, it can measure a patient's adipose tissue proportion, fat-free mass, and body water. To provide maximum mobility, the portable seca mBCA 525 can store up to 100,000 individual measurements. The seca mBCA 525 also supports the seca 360 ° wireless technology, which transmits data to a computer or between compatible seca devices. This feature is designed to easily update an already existing patient data management system (PDMS) with the new parameters. The seca 360 ° wireless technology eliminates the risk of transmission errors and increases the efficiency of taking measurements.

Current studies suggest, that the BIA method is well suited to closely monitor the water balance and nutritional status of many patients in intensive care. BIA can even help improve a patient's therapy. Besides the proportion and density of each component substance, the phase angle also plays an important role when determining a patient's physical health. Studies have shown a correlation between the size of the phase angle and the length of the patient's hospital stay, as well as mortality rates. Although the use of the BIA in intensive care medicine remains an integral part of current research, it is already successfully used today in the intensive care of critically ill patients. The BIA presents an effective extension to the classic vital parameters.

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