Understanding the relationships among nutrient intake, catabolic illness, and healing of wounds is of critical importance. Although expert panels recommend nutritional support as part of a plan for treatment of pressure sores, the data are extremely weak.1,2 Good, thoughtful studies are needed to help sort this out.
Lyder et al3 published their findings on the quality of care of 1803 hospitalized Medicare patients who were at risk for pressure ulcers. Looking at nutritional risk factors, they were unable to determine weight in 1318 patients, serum albumin levels in 560 patients, and total lymphocyte counts in 225 patients. On this basis, they judged that 1381 patients needed a nutritional consultation within 48 hours, but found that only 473 received one. They showed that nutritional consultation had no effect on the incidence of pressure ulcers (P = .32). They presented no data whatsoever on nutrient intake. Using these data, they comment: