Malnutrition and wound healing.


Young ME




Heart Lung


Hospital malnutrition occurs in a majority of surgical patients and contributes to delayed wound healing, a longer recovery time, increased morbidity and mortality rates, an increased infection rate, and decreased stamina. With the advances in the past 10 years in safe delivery of amino acids and fat emulsions peripherally, and with the ability to deliver hyperalimentation by a central venous line, patients can be fed enough calories, fat, and protein to prevent malnutrition or to treat it. Recognition and prevention of hospital malnutrition is a mandatory aspect of delivering good patient care. Offering advanced technology, skilled surgeons, and advanced-practice nursing care to the patient, without acknowledging his basic needs, reminds one of the ironic saying, "The operation was a success, but the patient died." The nurse has a special role in assessment and treatment of malnutrition in the hospitalized patient.