Nutrition and pressure ulcers

  • Gayle B Landau Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre
Keywords: malnutrition, obesity, pressure ulcers, adults, multidisciplinary, nutrition, diabetes


Pressure ulcers, also known as pressure sores, bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are defined by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel as an area of localised injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure or pressure in combination with shear. Old age, uncontrolled diabetes, sepsis, neurological and vascular disease, spinal cord damage, malnutrition and trauma are also recognised risk factors for pressure ulcer development. Malnutrition and pressure ulcers are major contributors to decreased function, quality of life, increased morbidity and mortality, increased frequency and length of hospital stay and higher healthcare costs. The role of a multidisciplinary care team cannot be underestimated owing to the complex underlying pathology of pressure ulcers. A registered dietitian is part of the team. This article will explore the roles of the registered dietitian in terms of the identification of at-risk patients and the implementation of a comprehensive nutritional plan.

Author Biography

Gayle B Landau, Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre
BScMedHons(Nutrition and Dietetics) Dietitian: Private Practice Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre Parktown Johannesburg
General Review