The Essential Ingredient for Wound Healing

June, 2022

Good nutrition is an essential ingredient for wound healing and prevention.

Did you know that pressure injury prevalence has been reported to be 16-23% in combined hospital and residential aged care populations? (1,2)

Chronic leg ulcers affect 1-3% of people aged over 60years, with incidence increasing up to 5-10% in the 80+ age group. (3,4).

The term “wounds” refers to pressure ulcers, wounds post-surgery or trauma, and wounds or ulcers as a result of Diabetes.

The presence of wounds can result in a reduced quality of life for many reasons including:

  • Reduced mobility and independence,
  • embarrassment
  • reduced socialisation
  • depression
  • pain and discomfort
  • increased morbidity and mortality
  • increased health costs

Research consistently reveals that poor nutrition, weight loss, low body weight, under-nutrition and malnutrition are associated with an increased risk for pressure injuries, and that inadequate nutrition and low body weight are associated with wounds that are slow to heal or non - healing.

Good Nutrition is Essential for Wound Healing and Maintenance of Skin Integrity

Eating a variety of foods from each of the food groups and consuming a well-balanced diet will ensure you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs for good health and quality of life.

Individuals with wounds have increased needs for a number of nutrients, as listed below, and these should be included daily. Your Dietitian can tailor your dietary intake and choices to meet your increased nutrient needs.

  • Kilojoules – Energy
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Fluid

Nutritional Support & Recommendations

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program makes it compulsory to report about the presence of pressure injuries over a 3-month period for all residents in aged care homes.

All elderly clients, residents should be screened to identify those at nutritional risk.

Screening and treatment with adequate nutrition is essential for the prevention and healing of pressure injuries, wounds.

Those identified as being at risk of malnutrition should cease dietary restrictions, and commence on a High Protein/high energy diet, including fortified foods and HPHE milkshakes.

A referral to a Dietitian should be included as part of treatment.


  1. Martineau J, Bauer JD, Isenring E& Cohen S (2005). Malnutrition determined by the patient-generated subjective global assessment is associated with poor outcomes in acute stroke patients. Clinical Nutrition; 24(6): 1073-1077.
  2. Middleton MH, Nazarenko G, Nivison-Smith I, SmerdleyP (2001). Prevalence of malnutrition and 12 - month incidence of mortality in two Sydney teaching hospitals. Internal Medicine Journal; 31:455-461.
  3. Neumann SA, Miller MD, Daniels L & Crotte M (2005). Nutritional status and clinical outcomes of older patients in rehabilitation. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics; 18: 129-136.
  4. Patterson A, Young A, Powers J, Brown W &Byles J (2002). Relationships between nutrition screening checklists and the health and well-being of older Australian women. Public Health Nutrition; 5:65.
Dietitians Australia

Don’t let your residents or budget experience the side effects of malnutrition or dysphagia.
Call us on 1300 850 246 or email and request a call back.

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