Critical Role of Nutrition in Wound Healing

During the wound healing process, the patient’s body burns extra calories since it requires energy beyond what is actually needed for daily activities. Patients can consume extra calories from nutrients to compensate for this. With proper intake of nutrients, the body will receive the energy it requires and this will expedite the healing process. However, physicians should understand how deep the wound is and other details related to the wound to determine specific daily nutrient requirements for their patients. Documenting nutritional status is indispensable to take such a decision and wound EMR plays a critical role in effective documentation. Before exploring that, let’s take a look at the different types of nutrients.

Nutrients that significantly influence the wound healing process are as follows.

  • Proteins – Proteins are necessary to maintain and repair body tissue. Lack of proper protein intake reduces collagen formation and causes wound dehiscence. Protein deficiency can also result in high exudate loss. High-protein diet is therefore essential to speed up healing.
  • Vitamins – Vitamin C is critical for collagen synthesis and for strengthening the immune system. Fragile granulation tissue can result from Vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin A responds quickly to inflammation and it also stimulates collagen synthesis.
  • Glucose – Glucose gives the energy for angiogenesis and the deposition of new tissue. Consuming glucose in adequate amounts will provide additional energy for healing.
  • Fatty Acids – Fatty acids are necessary for cell structure. The presence of suitable polyunsaturated fatty acids significantly influences the healing process.
  • Zinc – This also stimulates the formation of collagen.

Documentation of Nutritional Status is Critical

Proper documentation of nutritional status plays a critical role in effective wound healing. If you don’t record nutritional status properly, it may affect the body’s ability to heal and result in the delay of the healing process, while sometimes complications. Accurate and complete information of nutritional status promote holistic assessment of nutrition and early detection of malnutrition. This will help physicians to confirm whether the patient is receiving adequate amount of nutrients from food or if supplements are needed and they are safe. For example, consuming zinc more than the required amount can leave the patient deficient in copper and hence you should be very careful when recommending zinc supplements.

When documenting nutritional status, you can include the diet history of patients. This may involve the types of food patients eat, their usual daily food intake and so on. Find out whether they are taking nutrition supplements and document them properly. Though you can add these details to the patient’s medical history, it is better to use wound EMR than a general EMR for effective documentation. With the common details provided by a general EMR, physicians will take more time to gather the details of the wound and understand how the patient’s nutritional status affects healing. On the other hand, On the other hand, wound EMR consists of only wound related fields and wound care physicians can quickly access the wound details and determine what nutrients are required to speed up the healing process.