N is for 'Nutrition'

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This week we will be looking at the last letter of the SSKIN Bundle, ’N’, which stands for Nutrition and Hydration.

 This is a vital component for pressure ulcer prevention AND treatment. The skin is a living, functioning, complex organ and requires feeding and hydration to function. Vital nutrients help the skin repair and regenerate.

 As a result nutritional assessment is part of our daily practice as nurses and the NICE guidelines recommends using a nutritional screening tool to assess risk of malnutrition. The most common used in the UK being the ‘Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool’ (MUST). If your home has digital care plans on devices, why not have a link to this, also to allow for MUST assessment support. http://www.bapen.org.uk/ screening-and-must/must-calculator.

The use of prescribed supplements should be an option only after trying to introduce the appropriate foods. As a result of trying to reduce the use of supplements a group of dieticians have put together a great guide called ‘Food First’. See below link for free downloadable leaflets and posters on this. These are great and I used to carry them around with me to give out to patients and their carers. http://www.bapen.org.uk/nutrition-support/ nutrition-by-mouth/food-first-project-leaflets

If your resident is unable to maintain a healthy diet and weight through exploring food options it may be necessary to provide a top up. Supplements must be prescribed and recommended by a dietician who has assessed the resident.

For case studies and ‘Root cause Analysis’ examples involving nutrition and pressure ulcers check out the NHS improvement page as part of the #stopthepressure campaign.


Don’t forget to share and tweet your successes with #stopthepressure.


If you need clinical advice feel free to contact me here at OSKA™.