Nutrition, pressure sores, and a new treatment breakthrough
Those with SCI have the same protein nutrition needs as the general population. This changes if a pressure sore develops. Wound healing requires a big increase in protein.
A person with or without SCI needs 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day.
Those with stage II pressure ulcers need 1.2 to 1.5 grams
Those with state II and IV pressure ulcers need 1.5 to 2.0 grams
Extra protein servings can occur through snacks or larger meals. Examples of good sources of protein include almonds, meat, dairy, tofu, and certain grains like quinoa.
Source: Vickeri Barton, RD, CD, Associate Director of Nutrition and SErvices, Harborview Medical Center. Presentation April 2011.
New research is being performed on how to best treat chronic pressure ulcers. In a recent study, three veterans with SCI and chronic stage IV pressure ulcers were treated with a sustained-release “platelet-rich plasma” (PRP). The goal is to stimulate wound healing. The PRP treatment consistently resulted in formation of granulation tissue and improved vascularity for each of the patients treated. At the same time it reduced the overall ulcer area and volume. Sell SA, Ericksen JJ, Reis TW, et al., J Spinal Cord Med. 2011 Jan; 34(1): 122-7.