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Understanding the link between wound care and nutrition

Wound care and nutrition are two interlinked areas that will have a serious impact on the caseload of any community nurse. Healthy eating and regular physical activity help to prevent chronic illnesses, which in turn have an effect on the development of wounds and ulcers. In particular, malnutrition can impair wound healing and so it is essential that at-risk patients are identified in the early stages using an evidence-based nutritional screening tool. If a wound has developed, adequate nutritional management plays a key role in the healing process. If necessary, patients should be referred to a registered dietitian for a detailed nutritional assessment and treatment plan. This article looks at the link between nutrition and wound care, as well as highlighting preventative measures that can be encouraged in all patients at risk of developing a wound.