Research Article

Vitamin C depletion and pressure sores in elderly patients with femoral neck fracture.

BMJ 1992; 305 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.305.6859.925 (Published 17 October 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;305:925
  1. H. F. Goode,
  2. E. Burns,
  3. B. E. Walker
  1. St James's University Hospital, Leeds.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the contribution of specific nutritional deficiencies (as indicated by zinc; vitamin A, C, and E; albumin; and haemoglobin concentrations) to the risk of pressure sores. DESIGN--Observational cohort study. SETTING--St James's University Hospital, Leeds. SUBJECTS--21 elderly patients presenting consecutively to the orthopaedic unit with femoral neck fracture. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Full thickness epidermal break over a pressure bearing surface. RESULTS--10 patients (48%) developed a pressure sore during their hospital stay. Indices of zinc status and concentrations of albumin, haemoglobin, and vitamins A and E were similar in patients who developed a pressure sore and those who did not. Mean leucocyte vitamin C concentration, however, was 6.3 (SD 2.2) micrograms/10(8) cells in patients who developed a pressure sore as compared with 12.8 (4.6) micrograms/10(8) cells in patients who did not. CONCLUSIONS--Low concentrations of leucocyte vitamin C appear to be associated with subsequent development of pressure sores in elderly patients with femoral neck fractures.