Pressure Ulcers and Patient Mortality Rates

Pressure Ulcers and Patient Mortality Rates

A new UCLA-led study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has reported a direct correlation between hospital bed sores and patient mortality rate. Since there is no single database to help determine the incidence of pressure ulcers among hospitalized Medicare patients, researchers used data directly from medical records. The researchers found that patients who developed a pressure ulcer were more likely to die during their hospital stay. [1]

“Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers were shown to be an important risk factor associated with mortality,” noted Dr. Courtney Lyder, lead investigator on the study and dean of the UCLA School of Nursing. He added, “It is incumbent upon hospitals to identify individuals at high risk for these ulcers and implement preventive interventions immediately upon admission.”

According to the report, 4.5% of the patients monitored acquired a pressure ulcer during their hospital stay. The study also revealed that out of the 3,000 individuals who entered the hospital with a pressure ulcer, 16.7% developed at least one new bedsore during their stay. The odds of a patient dying in the hospital are 2.8 times higher if the patient has a pressure ulcer. “This is a serious issue, and now we have data that can help the healthcare system address this ongoing problem,” explained Dr. Lyder. He added, “When individuals enter the hospital with the risk conditions that we’ve identified, it should send up an immediate warning signal that appropriate steps should be taken to minimize the chance of pressure ulcers occurring.”

For more informaiton on how to prevent and treat pressure ulcers, visit


[1] Wulffson, Robin. “New UCLA study reports bedsores can be fatal.” Web. 01 October 2012.

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