Pressure Ulcer and Nutrition

Indian J Crit Care Med. 2018 Apr;22(4):283-289. doi: 10.4103/ijccm.IJCCM_277_17.


Pressure ulcers can diminish global life quality, contribute to rapid mortality in some patients and pose a significant cost to health-care organizations. Accordingly, their prevention and management are highly important. Nutritional deprivation and insufficient dietary intake are the key risk factors for the development of pressure ulcers and impaired wound healing. Unplanned weight loss is a major risk factor for malnutrition and pressure ulcer development. Suboptimal nutrition interferes with the function of the immune system, collagen synthesis, and tensile strength. No laboratory test can exactly define an individual's nutritional status. Although serum albumin, prealbumin, transferrin, and retinol-binding protein as well as anthropometric measures such as height, weight, and body mass index and the other laboratory values may be suitable to establish the overall prognosis, still they might not well represent the nutritional status. Although the ideal nutrient intake to encourage wound healing is unknown, increased needs for energy, protein, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, and E and also amino acids such as arginine and glutamine have been documented. Hydration plays a vital role in the preservation and repair of skin integrity. Dehydration disturbs cell metabolism and wound healing. Adequate fluid intake is necessary to support the blood flow to wounded tissues and to prevent additional breakdown of the skin. The main aim of the present article is to review the current evidence related to hydration and nutrition for bedsore prevention and management in adults.

Keywords: Management; nutrition; pressure ulcer.

Publication types

  • Review