Comparison of the nutritional status and outcome in thermal burn patients receiving vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets.

Author(s): 

Sharma S, Sharma RK, Parashar A.

Journal: 

Indian J Plast Surg.

Category: 

Study Design: 

Link to Full Article Free Online: 

Abstract: 

BACKGROUND: The importance of adequate nutritional support in burned patients cannot be overemphasised. For adequate long-term compliance by the patients, diet should be formulated in accordance with their pre-burn dietary habits, religious beliefs, and tastes. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A study was conducted in 42 consecutive patients suffering from 10% to 50% of 2(nd) and 3(rd) degree thermal burns with the aim to compare nutritional status, clinical outcome, and cost-effectiveness of vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. The patients were divided into two groups depending upon their pre-injury food habits. Total calories were calculated by Curreri formula. Both groups were compared by various biochemical parameters, microbiological investigations, weight, status of wound healing, graft take, and hospital stay and they were followed for at least 60 days postburn. RESULTS: The results were comparable in both groups. Vegetarian diet was found to be more palatable and cost-effective. CONCLUSION: Vegetarian diet is a safe and viable option for the patients suffering from burn injury. The common belief that non-vegetarian diet is superior to vegetarian diet is a myth.