Pressure Injury Prevention: Nutrition Matters

(Adapted from  Nutrition and Wound Care by Amy Carrera, MD, RD, CNSC)

Proper nutrition is key when it comes to pressure injury prevention and effective wound care, no matter if it’s at home or in a health care facility.

Nutrition and Pressure Injury Prevention

Pressure injuries can occur in health care settings or at home, and affect more than 2.5 million Americans annually. The cost of treating just one Stage III or IV pressure injury may range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. Adequate nutrition status is paramount to wound prevention and helps to facilitate wound healing.

Who is at risk?

Patients are at increased risk for pressure injury if they have malnutrition, cachexia or are underweight. One in five nursing home residents with recent unintentional weight loss had pressure injury, according to a 2004 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey.

Guidelines for proper nutrition

Wound healing requires adequate calories, protein, fluid and micronutrient intake. Recommendations for most patients with pressure injury include:


  • 30-35 Kilocalories/kg/day for patients under stress with a pressure injury


  • 1-1.5 g/kg/day
  • > 2g/kg/day may not improve wound healing and may contribute to dehydration in the elderly


  • 30-35 mL/kg/day or 1 mL/Kcal consumed
  • Fever, heavy wound exudate or use of air-fluidized beds or negative pressure wound therapy may increase fluid needs


  • Multivitamin with mineral daily
  • Consider additional vitamin C, zinc or other nutrients if a deficiency is suspected

Wound prevention and healing require a multidisciplinary approach. Screen all patients for nutrition status and pressure injury risk upon admission. Refer at-risk patients to a registered dietitian.

Do you see a difference?

When it comes to pressure injury prevention, have you made proper nutrition and education an important part of your wound care approach? Are your patients and family members generally receptive to this aspect of their care? We’d love to hear about any specific cases you’ve seen where nutrition made a significant difference in the healing process. Please share your stories or advice below.

Shield HealthCare’s mission is to serve the medical supply needs of patients at home with compassion and exceptional customer service. At the heart of Shield Healthcare is a corporate culture of caring and committed employees. With more than 58 years of medical supply experience serving the caregiving community, Shield HealthCare is a recognized leader in Incontinence, Urological, Ostomy, Enteral Nutrition, Wound Care, and Breastfeeding supplies. With ten sales locations serving California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Washington, Shield HealthCare is actively engaged in local communities to educate, inspire and support caregivers and families with chronic medical needs.

Wound Care Education Institute® provides online and onsite courses in the fields of Skin, Wound, Diabetic and Ostomy Management. Health care professionals who meet the eligibility requirements may sit for the prestigious WCC®, DWC® and OMS national board certification examinations through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® (NAWCO®). For more information see

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