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Br J Nurs. 2001 Mar;10(6 Suppl):S42, S44-9.

The importance of patients' nutritional status in wound healing.

Author information

1
Queen's Hospital, Burton Hospitals NHS Trust, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
12070399
DOI:
10.12968/bjon.2001.10.Sup1.5336
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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