Use of an arginine-enriched oral nutrition supplement in the healing of pressure ulcers in patients with spinal cord injuries : an observational study

Chapman, Brooke R., Mills, Kelly J., Pearce, Leonie M. and Crowe, Timothy C. 2011, Use of an arginine-enriched oral nutrition supplement in the healing of pressure ulcers in patients with spinal cord injuries : an observational study, Nutrition and dietetics, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 208-213.

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Title Use of an arginine-enriched oral nutrition supplement in the healing of pressure ulcers in patients with spinal cord injuries : an observational study
Author(s) Chapman, Brooke R.
Mills, Kelly J.
Pearce, Leonie M.
Crowe, Timothy C.
Journal name Nutrition and dietetics
Volume number 68
Issue number 3
Start page 208
End page 213
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Richmond, Vic.
Publication date 2011-09
ISSN 1446-6368
1747-0080
Keyword(s) arginine
nutrition
pressure ulcer
spinal cord injury
wound healing
Summary Aim: Pressure ulcers are a serious secondary consequence of spinal cord injuries. The objective of the present study was to determine whether an arginine-containing nutritional supplement can reduce the healing time of pressure ulcers in people with spinal cord injuries compared with those not consuming the supplement until full wound healing.

Methods: Thirty-four spinal cord injured patients with a grade 2, 3 or 4 pressure ulcer were prescribed two 237 mL tetrapaks/day of a supplement containing additional protein, arginine, zinc and vitamin C. Pressure ulcer healing was assessed with the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing tool.

Results: Twenty patients consumed the nutritional supplement until full pressure ulcer healing had occurred, while 14 patients ceased consuming the supplement before full healing occurred because of intolerance, compliance or taste issues. A 2.5-fold greater rate of healing was observed in patients consuming the supplement until full healing compared with those who ceased taking the supplement (8.5 ± 1.1 weeks vs 20.9 ± 7.0 weeks respectively; P = 0.04). There were no significant differences in age, nutritional status, gender or reason for admission between groups. Comparison of healing rates in the group consuming the supplement to full wound healing against expected rates derived from the medical literature showed a significantly shorter time-to-healing (grade 3 pressure ulcer: 6.5 ± 0.8 weeks vs 18.2 weeks; grade 4: 11.4 ± 2.0 weeks vs 22.1 weeks; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The present small-scale study demonstrated the potential for specialised wound healing nutritional supplements to shorten the time to pressure ulcer healing in spinal cord injured patients.
Language eng
Field of Research 111101 Clinical and Sports Nutrition
Socio Economic Objective 920117 Skin and Related Disorders
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30041119

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Created: Tue, 20 Dec 2011, 11:03:57 EST by Jane Moschetti

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