Outside Food in the Hospital

  1. 0 Just a quick question--I have a friend who is at Bellevue in New York recovering from hip fracture and she says no one is allowed to bring in "outside food". She isn't neutropenic, she doesn't have liver or kidney disease, she isn't morbidly obese, no reason I can think of that she would be on a strict calorie count. I've never heard of a hospital not allowing people to bring in food as a general policy! Can this be true?
  2. Visit  BonnieSc profile page

    About BonnieSc

    36 Years Old; Joined Apr '05; Posts: 577; Likes: 395.

    15 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Flare profile page
    7
    i took a quick peek at the visitor guidelines and it doesn't expressly say you can't bring anything from the outside in- just says you must consult with unit staff before giving it to the patient - which is sensible - we don't want to feed Aunt Helga when she's supposed to be NPO.
    HHC Bellevue - Patients & Visitors - Visiting Hours & Gift Shop
    canoehead, SoldierNurse22, GrnTea, and 4 others like this.
  4. Visit  blondy2061h profile page
    2
    We let our neutropenic, immunosuppressed patients have food from the outside as long as it meets our low microbial guidelines. This is odd. She's in the hospital, not prison.
    BonnieSc and Emergent like this.
  5. Visit  lovenotwar14 profile page
    2
    If you do bring outside food what would they do?
    KelRN215 and BonnieSc like this.
  6. Visit  classicdame profile page
    3
    Is this a policy or a perception? Might have been mis-interpreted
  7. Visit  xoemmylouox profile page
    1
    Well I think if you check with the Nurse before you give her any food you should be fine.
    nrsang97 likes this.
  8. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    1
    Quote from BonnieSc
    Just a quick question--I have a friend who is at Bellevue in New York recovering from hip fracture and she says no one is allowed to bring in "outside food". She isn't neutropenic, she doesn't have liver or kidney disease, she isn't morbidly obese, no reason I can think of that she would be on a strict calorie count. I've never heard of a hospital not allowing people to bring in food as a general policy! Can this be true?
    Check with the staff there may very well be a good reason.
    Altra likes this.
  9. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    1
    I can't speak to the precise policy at Bellevue, but not allowing family to bring in food to pts (except in certain circumstances) seems to me like a Press-Gainey nightmare!
    nrsang97 likes this.
  10. Visit  BonnieSc profile page
    0
    Thanks for the responses. I thought maybe I was off-base. My friend is a rule-follower and has never been a patient before... I'm guessing she saw the thing that said no one should bring in outside food without permission from the doctor, the general "rule" we h...ave everywhere because of special diets, and assumed that that meant no one should bring food in to anyone... she probably thinks people would have to "bother" the doctor about it. Sadly, i can't imagine trying to get well on the food they serve at my hospital--anyone who can afford it and has family/friends supplements it a lot or doesn't eat the hospital food at all. The food service at my last job was excellent and people didn't have to rely on outside food as much.
  11. Visit  WillyNilly profile page
    3
    Some hospitals and units limit it due to risk of substance abuse-visitors hiding extra pain meds in Big Macs causing pts to require extra intervention
    Hygiene Queen, Altra, and GrnTea like this.
  12. Visit  sharpeimom profile page
    2
    At the state psych hospital where I worked, there was to be NO outside food or drink brought in to patients or by patients returning from passes. NONE. Not half a cup of unfinished soft drink, not a special brand of something like peanut butter, not homebaked brownies or cookies. Nothing at all. Any brown bag lunches, drinks such as coffee, juice, etc. went straight into the locked meds room.

    When my mom was in and out of the hospital the last few years of her life, the outside food rules seemed to vary by the whims of whomever was nurse manager on a given day rather than any set hospital policy. Mom had breast and liver cancer and her appetite was virtually nonexistent. I wanted to do whatever I could do to get some food into her. I spoke with her doctors, they wrote notes
    in her chart to the effect that she could have whatever foods or drinks she wanted while in the hospital. It sounded good in theory but didn't work out too well in actual practice because some hide-bound nurses couldn't get past the "a rule is a rule" point. Explaining that Dr. ___ bent the rule because my 6' mom's weight had dropped from 155# to 105# was frustrating and absolutely futile.

    With some of the other nurses, we could have brought in ten bags of groceries and our stove from home and they'd only have asked whether we needed anything.

    I really do understand and agree with the need for a few rules regarding outside food but there occasionally needs to be some flexibility.
    SoldierNurse22 and Emergent like this.
  13. Visit  Emergent profile page
    2
    When my husband was in the hospital with cancer, he had little appetite. The dietician working with him arranged for him to be brought a mini-bottle of red wine with his meal, per his request. I'll always be grateful to her!
    FineAgain and sharpeimom like this.
  14. Visit  Aurora77 profile page
    0
    Definitely just ask the staff. We have lots of hip fracture patients on my floor and we let family bring in food. Unless there is some kind of safety issue, I don't see why patients have outside food. I can't imagine only eating our cafeteria's food multiple meals a day for days.


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