Impact of a nutritional formula enriched in fish oil and micronutrients on pressure ulcers in critical care patients.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Pressure ulcers are an important source of morbidity and suffering for patients and a formidable burden on caregivers. OBJECTIVES To assess the impact of a feeding formula enriched with fish oil on healing of preexisting pressure ulcers and serum levels of C-reactive protein in critical care patients. METHODS Adult patients with pressure ulcers grade II or higher were randomly allocated to receive either a formula enriched with fish oil or an isocaloric control formula. Wound healing was assessed by using the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing tool on days 7, 14, and 28. Blood levels of C-reactive protein were measured on days 0, 7, and 14. RESULTS Baseline demographics did not differ between the study (n = 20) and the control (n = 20) groups. The mean score on the ulcer healing tool increased significantly (P = .02) from day 0 to day 28 in the control group (from 9.25 [SD, 2.12] to 10.75 [SD, 3.41]) compared with the study group (from 9.10 [SD, 2.84] to 9.40 [SD, 3.72]). Mean levels of C-reactive protein decreased significantly (P= .02) from day 0 to day 14 in the study group (from 191 [SD, 104.4] mg/L to 111.7 [SD, 97.8] mg/L) compared with the control group (from 145 [SD, 90] mg/L to 139 [SD, 62] mg/L). CONCLUSION Administration of a feeding formula enriched with fish oil was associated with decreased progression of pressure ulcers and a decrease in blood concentrations of C-reactive protein.

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