Legal Perils and Pitfalls of Wound Care: Nutritional Considerations

Legal Perils and Pitfalls of Wound Care: Nutritional Considerations

Chrissy Bedard
Tue, 06/20/2023 – 15:22

This white paper discusses the legal implications of the role that nutrition plays in wound development and successful resolution. It is well known that malnutrition is a huge risk factor for skin breakdown, particularly in pressure injury development. Adequate calories, protein, fluids, vitamins, and minerals are necessary to maintain tissue integrity, prevent tissue breakdown, and to heal wounds. Of particular importance is adequate intake of protein and calories (energy), and lack of these can lead to protein energy malnutrition (PEM).

The following topics include a general analysis of nutrition and wound healing, the basics of litigation and legal processes, common reasons for nutrition-related lawsuits, common documentation issues, choking and tube feeding concerns, obesity, and nutritional markers.

Wound care professionals are well aware of best practices related to wound care and nutrition but may not be aware of the legal implications and pitfalls inherent in their practice. This white paper elucidates issues that wound care professionals should be aware of in assessing and treating patients with wounds in order to hopefully avoid a lawsuit pertaining to nutrition and wound care.

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