Nutritional issues in older adults with wounds in a clinical setting
Lilian Liang1, Jolene Thomas1, Michelle Miller1, Phillip Puckridge2
1Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; 2Department of Vascular Surgery, Repatriation General Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Background: The ability for patients to access and consume sufficient quantities of nutrients to meet recommendations for wound management is vital if decline in nutritional status during hospital admission is to be prevented. This study aims to investigate menu quality, consumption patterns, and changes in nutritional status for inpatients with wounds.
Methods: Wound healing recommendations were compared against the nutrient content of the inpatient menu. Individual intakes were compared to estimated requirements: energy using the Schofield equation; protein using wound healing recommendations; vitamin A, C, and zinc using the recommended daily intake (RDI).
Results: The inpatient menu did not provide sufficient energy or zinc to meet the estimated average requirement while the ordering practices of participants allowed all RDI to be achieved except for zinc. Actual intake fell below recommendations: 62%, 41%, 55%, and 79% of patients not meeting energy, minimum protein requirements, vitamin A or zinc RDI respectively. A nonsignificant trend for weight loss, particularly fat mass, was observed over time.
Conclusion: Inpatients with wounds are at risk of being unable to consume sufficient quantities of nutrients important for healing and prevention of decline in nutritional status. This is despite the menu seemingly providing sufficient nutrients. More attention to education, encouragement, and supplementation are recommended.
Keywords: nutritional status, wounds, nutrition, menu
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