A nutritious, balanced, and appetizing diet is important for all nursing home residents. But it becomes essential for those suffering from pressure sores. This is because a person with pressure sores needs to consume more calories per day that their healthy counterparts.
Facilities need to calculate each patient’s total energy expenditure (TEE) in order to meet their nutritional needs. TEE is composed of three components:
- basal metabolism, that is the number of calories needed to maintain a body at rest, which depends on age, sex, and body size;
- voluntary activity such as exercise; and
- energy expended to consume and metabolize food.
In times of injuries and stress, a body’s metabolic rate may increase, which in turn requires additional calories to compensate. The extra calories provide the energy for the body to react to the stress of injuries and heal wounds. So, while a normal person may need only 25-30 kcals per kilogram per day, a person with moderate illness or injury needs 30-35 kcals/kg, and a person with critical injury or illness needs 35-40 kcals/kg.
Proper treatment for pressure sores must involve an assessment by a qualified dietitian who can figure out how many calories the patient should be consuming in order to heal and the best way to help the patient get the necessary calories from a balanced and appetizing diet.
Many facilities overlook, this crucial component to healing pressure sores. Using the above nutritional guidelines, patients with advanced pressure sores would require the following daily caloric intake:
- 100 lbs.: 1,587 – 1814 daily caloric intake
- 150 lbs.: 2,381 – 2,721 daily caloric intake
- 200 lbs.: 3,175 – 3,628 daily caloric intake
In most cases, facilities must provide additional snack and nutritional supplements in order for patients to achieve this level of calorie intake. If facilities fail to provide adequate levels of nutrition, the pressure sores are like to to advance and additional complications may develop.
Source: Nancy Collins, PhD, Rd, LD/N, FAPWCA, Why Calories Count: Proper Nutrition Fuels the Wound Healing Process.