Latest Findings on Pressure Ulcer Prevention, Care By National Advisory Panel

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) recently released The Role of Nutrition in Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Treatment: National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel White Paper. This document reviews currently available scientific evidence related to nutrition and hydration for pressure ulcer (pressure sore, bed sore, decubitus ulcer) prevention and treatment in adults. In addition, it introduces the nutrition recommendations from the new National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) and European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP) Guidelines for Pressure Ulcer Treatment.

One to three million people develop pressure ulcers (commonly known as bed sores) in the U.S. each year. Pressure ulcers reduce overall quality of life by causing pain and suffering and increasing morbidity and mortality. They create a major burden on the health care system by increasing staff time needed and dramatically increasing the cost of healthcare, not to mention the increased risk of liability. Any intervention that can help to prevent and/or treat pressure ulcers is important.

According to the panel, nutrition is one intervention that plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. Known risk factors for pressure ulcer development include compromised nutritional weight loss, undernutrition, protein energy malnutrition and dehydration, as well as low body mass index, reduced food intake and impaired ability to eat independently. In addition, undernutrition and protein energy malnutrition can negatively impact pressure ulcer healing.

Early nutrition screening, along with assessment and intervention by a registered dietitian are essential for preventing and/or treating pressure ulcers. Detailed information regarding nutrition screening, assessment and intervention are reviewed in the paper. Each clinician must use expert clinical judgment based on a through medical and nutritional assessment to make appropriate individualized recommendations. For more, see the press release.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 


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