Nutritional assessment and support is essential for wound management. The hyperbaric oxygen clinic is a unique outpatient service where chronically unwell patients present daily for hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) over several weeks, allowing time for effective nutritional intervention. This is the first study to examine the prevalence of those at risk of malnutrition in a cohort of hyperbaric medical patients. A prospective study was undertaken over six months. Following consent, 39 enrolled patients had the Malnutrition Screening Tool and Baseline Characteristic Collection Form completed. Those at risk of malnutrition were given an option to be assessed by a dietitian to complete a Subjective Global Assessment (SGA). At the completion of treatment, the patients completed a questionnaire. Twelve of the 39 patients screened were at risk of malnutrition using our screening process. Of these, all the patients with available SGA results were diagnosed with moderate to severe malnutrition. Patients receiving HBOT for non-healing wounds and osteoradionecrosis were most at risk of malnutrition. The prevalence of patients being at risk of malnutrition in our hyperbaric medical service was about one in three. Malnutrition screening should be part of routine patient assessment in order to ensure patients receive timely nutritional intervention. This may improve wound healing.

See, Tan, Au-Yeung, Bennett (2018). Assessment of hyperbaric patients at risk of malnutrition using the Malnutrition Screening Tool – a pilot study. Diving and hyperbaric medicine, 2018 Dec;48(4):229-234. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30517955