The first area of focus when a Pressure Injury develops should ALWAYS be nutrition. You see, a resident with a Pressure Injury (PI) is generally a malnourished resident.
And when defining malnutrition, it does not merely come down to a resident’s current weight. Residents who are considered obese can still most certainly be malnourished.
In fact, a recent hospital-based study found that obese malnourished patients were 11 TIMES more likely to develop a PI! The patients in the study were typically younger than the average residential aged care resident (often lower risk with lower age).
Take home message for aged care providers and staff – don’t use weight as your yardstick for malnutrition (engage your aged care dietitian) and when a PI presents jump in and focus on nutrition immediately! Given the National Quality Indicators Program will be compulsory as of July 2019 with unplanned weight loss and PI’s.
Sure, wound care and positioning are important but are you considering the resident’s diet? Are they enjoying their meals? Are they meeting their protein, energy, iron, zinc, vitamin c and fluid requirements? Are you helping them to consume optimal amounts of foods and fluids they enjoy before considering supplements?
All of these factors are essential and require all staff involved in resident care to be thinking food, nutrition and mealtime experience.