Pressure Injury Survey Guide

Types of Pressure Injury Prevention Interventions

Nutritional Support

Nutritional deficiencies diminish the ability of skin and soft tissue to tolerate pressure. The nutritional status of patients at pressure injury risk should be assessed. Patients at both pressure injury risk and nutritional risk should receive nutritional support.

The purpose of nutritional support is to provide macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to correct identified nutritional deficiencies. These nutrients can be taken orally (oral intake), provided through a feeding tube (enteral nutrition), or provided intravenously (parenteral nutrition).

Recommended nutritional intake for the prevention of pressure injuries is a minimum of 30 to 35 kilocalories/kilogram of body weight/day and 1.25 to 1.5 grams of protein/kilogram of body weight/day.

  • Vitamins and minerals should be added as needed but these micronutrients alone are insufficient nutritional support for the patient at nutritional risk

Strategies to enhance patient oral intake of the recommended kilocalories and protein include:

  • Providing dietary/nutritional supplements between meals as needed
  • Attention to patient food preferences
  • Improving ease of access to food
  • Assistance with meals and snacks
  • Encouraging family/caregiver involvement as appropriate in feeding

If oral intake of the recommended nutrients is inadequate, enteral nutrition, or parenteral nutrition should be considered.

  1. National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, & Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance. (2014). Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Clinical Practice Guideline (E. Haesler Ed.). Osborne Park, Western Australia: Cambridge Media.
  2. Litchford, M. D., Dorner, B., & Posthauer, M. E. (2014). Malnutrition as a precursor of pressure ulcers. Advances in Wound Care, 3(1), 54-63.