Wound Care Nutrition

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Impact of Nutrition on Wound Healing

I’m going to be talking about several different elements of nutrition today. We want to make sure that our patients are receiving adequate calories, and we’ll speak briefly to that. Of great importance is making sure they have adequate amounts of protein. We’ve got to make sure that our patients remain hydrated by providing them adequate amounts of fluids. We want to make sure that they have all of the coenzymes and vitamins and minerals that they need to actually build a new tissue for repairing their wounds. Appetite stimulation will be important for many of our patients, as well as promoting metabolysis or an anabolic state.

When you look at a patient and you want to decide whether they are receiving adequate nutrition or whether they actually may be malnourished, it’s important that we look at some things like unintentional weight loss. This is one of the best guides for seeing if a patient is in an anabolic state, or is it a catabolic state and is actually wasting their muscles away. We can catch some patients that are not truly malnourished but are being undernourished, and undernourishment is going to slow down the wound healing process as well.

Protein energy malnutrition is one of our biggest focuses. We’ve got to make sure that our, our patients are receiving enough protein to actually be able to build the tissue that’s needed to repair their wounds. Dehydration can also complicate wound healing, so it’s important to make sure that the fluid intake is adequate for all of our patients. Patients that have a low body mass index, and by low body mass index we mean less than 22, are at risk of having slow or non-healing wounds as well.