Background: Patients with pressure sores have as part of their treatment been reefed with energy and proteins with varying result. It has been uncertain, however, to what an extent these patients also were depleted of micronutrients which might be critical for ulcer healing.
Objective: To study the nutritional intake and nutritional status of a number of micronutrients in geriatric pressure sore patients and in matched controls.
Design: The nutritional intake and nutritional status as anthropometric measures, serum conc. of albumin, zinc, and of vitamins (ascorbic acid, riboflavin, calcidiol), were measured. Thiamin pyrophosphate and pyridoxal-5-phosphate were determined in whole blood from 11 geriatric in-patients with pressure sores and 11 matched controls.
Results: The serum conc. of ascorbic acid was significantly (p< 0.05) more reduced in pressure sore patients (mean+/-S.D.) 4.2+/-3.4 (ug/ml) than in control patients 7.4+/-5.4 (ug/ml) which still was lower than in a reference group (10.9+/-1.9) (ug/ml). In all the geriatric patients compared to the reference group, the conc. of serum-riboflavin was reduced to about 15 %, thiamine-pyrophosphate and pyridoxine-5-phosphate in whole blood and serum calcidiol to about 50 %, without any differences between the pressure sore patients and the matched controls.
Conclusion: Refeeding of pressure sore patients who often are catabolic and have increased needs for protein and energy, should include micronutrients not only to cover recommended dietary allowances, but sufficient to reach normal nutritional status for the individual micronutrient.