Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nutritional Requirements

According to current literature and other pressure ulcer/injury guidelines, the recommended dietary intake for people with pressure injuries is as follows:

  • 30–35 kcal/kg/body weight
  • Protein: 1.25 to 1.5 g protein/kg body weight
  • ArginineG: 4.5 g/day
  • Ascorbic acid: 500 mg/day
  • Fluid: 1 ml/kcal/day
  • Zinc: Evidence for the use of zinc to support healing in people with pressure injuries is limited, and guidelines regarding dosage cannot be provided at the time of writing. Most zinc requirements can be achieved through a well-balanced diet.


Important considerations:

  • Although protein is an important nutrient for pressure injury healing, people should be assessed for their ability to tolerate high protein supplementation. Kidney function should be assessed to ensure that the amount of protein recommended will not compromise kidney function.
  • Additional fluid will be required when the person is dehydrated, such as when they have been vomiting or sweating excessively, had diarrhea or an increased temperature, and/or have a pressure injury with a large amount of exudate.
  • The person should be provided with recommendations for daily fluid intake based on an assessment that accounts for any changes in the person’s weight, skin turgor, urine output, elevated serum sodium and/or calculated serum osmolality.
Clinical Management
Assessment and Management of Pressure Injuries for the Interprofessional Team, Third Edition
Point of Care Resources