The importance of patients' nutritional status in wound healing

Br J Nurs. 2001 Mar;10(6 Suppl):S42, S44-9. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2001.10.Sup1.5336.


Good nutritional status is essential for wound healing to take place. Ignoring nutritional status may compromise the patient's ability to heal and subsequently prolong the stages of wound healing. Glucose provides the body with its power source for wound healing and this give energy for angiogenesis and the deposition of new tissue. Therefore, it is vital that the body receives adequate amounts of glucose to provide additional energy for wound healing. Fatty acids are essential for cell structure and have an important role in the inflammatory process. Wound healing is dependent on good nutrition and the presence of suitable polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet. Protein deficiency has been demonstrated to contribute to poor healing rates with reduced collagen formation and wound dehiscence. High exudate loss can result in a deficit of as much as 100g of protein in one day. This subsequently needs to be replaced with a high protein diet. Vitamins are also important in wound healing. Vitamin C deficiency contributes to fragile granulation tissue. There is a correlation between low serum albumin and body mass index (BMI) and the development of pressure ulcers. Also, low serum albumin and high Waterlow score have a positive association. The body automatically renews tissue while we are asleep but this does not mean that protein synthesis does not take place during our wakeful hours. Holistic assessment of nutrition and early detection of malnutrition are essential to promote effective wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Deficiency Diseases / complications
  • Deficiency Diseases / diagnosis
  • Deficiency Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Exudates and Transudates
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Trace Elements / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Trace Elements
  • Vitamins