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  1. Leininger, Susan M. RN, MSN


This article reviews the effect of nutrition on proper wound healing. The three phases of wound healing and the importance of nutritional components needed at each stage for proper wound healing are emphasized. The goals of wound healing as recommended by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research are provided and serve as a guideline for prevention of nutritional deficiencies once they are diagnosed or even suspected. The components of a nutritional assessment, which are diet history, social history, height, weight, and biochemical serum levels, are discussed with red flag indicators. These red flag indicators of malnutrition can be noted during the history and physical and can lead to early intervention and consultation with multidisciplinary support. The nutrients needed to provide an optimal state for wound healing and daily dietary needs, especially for the critical care patient, are also discussed. Examples of early interventional support are listed, as well as enteral and parenteral feeding options.