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Treatment with supplementary arginine, vitamin C and zinc in patients with pressure ulcers: A randomised controlled trial

Pressure ulcers are areas of damage to the skin and underlying tissue that usually occur over bony protrusions such as elbows, heels and hips. While unrelieved pressure, shearing forces and friction account for the mechanical aetiology of pressure ulcers, many other conditions can also predispose an individual to pressure ulcers. Old age, uncontrolled diabetes, sepsis, neurological and vascular disease, spinal cord damage, malnutrition and trauma are all recognised risk factors for pressure ulcers. Estimates of the incidence and prevalence of pressure ulcers in both acute and long-term settings vary widely with figures up to 30%commonly reported. In addition to the expensive financial costs of treating pressure ulcers, there are social costs to the individual including pain, discomfort, decreased mobility, loss of independence and social isolation. Furthermore, increased death rates have been observed consistently in elderly patients who develop pressure ulcers.