Pressure injuries (also known as pressure wounds, pressure sores or bed sores) occur when an area of skin and/or tissue is damaged from prolonged pressure or friction.
Those most commonly affected include people who have limited mobility, are wheelchair or bed bound or have a chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity that affects mobility and blood circulation. Being malnourished or at risk of malnutrition can also be a factor.
You may be aware of nursing or occupational therapy support to assist in pressure wound care and prevention, but did you know that good nutrition is also vital in helping to prevent and treat pressure wounds?
Good nutrition has an important role to play in promoting wound healing as it aids in your body’s immune response to infection and also provides the right nutrients to help replace the damaged tissue.
Ozcare’s Dietitian Camila Mendoza, says, “Scientific evidence demonstrates that without adequate nutrition, healing of pressure wounds may be delayed or they may not heal at all.”
“It is important to understand that while you have a wound your nutrition should be your priority and that losing weight at this time is not going to help you heal, said Camila.”
So what is good nutrition for pressure wound prevention and healing?
- Eat a wide variety of foods from all food groups
- Consume adequate protein and energy to meet your requirements (consult an Ozcare Dietitian to find out your requirements)
- Ensure that you stay hydrated by drinking enough fluids
- Include enough of the foods that will provide you with key wound healing nutrients like Zinc, Iron and Vitamins A, C and E
Most people are not aware that nutrient requirements increase when you have a pressure injury - so you need to eat more than you usually would to heal it. Therefore, it is essential to access individualised advice.
An Ozcare Dietitian can educate you on how to eat the right foods to heal faster and provide advice about using nutritional supplements designed specifically to help you meet your healing needs.
If you feel like you could benefit from some specific advice tailored to you, please book an appointment with one of our Accredited Practicing Dietitians.
It could be the next step to help you take the pressure off and help prevent or treat pressure injuries.