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Invited Commentary
May 14, 2012

Tube Feeding and Pressure Ulcers: Comment on “Feeding Tubes and the Prevention or Healing of Pressure Ulcers”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(9):701-703. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.1207

“Malnutrition” is frequently cited when patients with pressure sores do poorly, and “adequate” nutrient intake (or input) is part of most guidelines on pressure sore management. This may be misleading, however. Although not conclusive, available evidence consistently suggests that nutrition support—parenterally, with oral supplements, or via enteral tube feeding—does not improve pressure sore outcomes. The Cochrane review of enteral tube feeding in older people with dementia concluded that data were limited and that “there was no evidence of benefit in terms of nutritional status or the prevalence of pressure ulcers.”1

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