Because of the known importance of good nutrition in improving healing in chronic wounds, an appropriate program of nutritional intervention should be implemented as quickly as possible once any nutritional deficit has been identified.1–4
Exploring why a patient is not eating or drinking properly can be an important first step in addressing any nutritional deficits. In particular, elderly patients tend to suffer from dehydration, although this can be a common problem in many patients with chronic wounds and can represent a real challenge for healthcare professionals. Creative nutritional intervention ideas, such as suggesting soups or other liquid-based meals, can help patients increase water intake to supplement that consumed by drinking.
Good all-around nutritional advice is also essential, and individual diet plans should be drawn up where appropriate to help patients meet their own nutritional requirements. Additional nutritional intervention support is common- this is achieved by adding liquid supplements or snack food to an existing oral diet to ensure required levels of nutrients are absorbed. In more extreme cases, feeding through a tube placed into the gastrointestinal tract, or even administration of nutrients through the venous system as total parenteral nutrition may be necessary.1
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