Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Homes

Pressure ulcers are a significant medical problem across all health care settings accounting for one of the most important measures in the quality of clinical care in nursing homes. Unfortunately, pressure ulcers are a common health problem among nursing home residents and substantially increase morbidity, mortality, and the cost of care. More than 1 in 10 nursing home residents have pressure ulcers and those in residence for a year or less are more likely to develop pressure ulcers than those with longer stays.

Pressure ulcers are often caused by a nursing home’s inexcusable failure to turn a patient and can lead to serious health consequences. However, they are one of the most common, preventable and treatable conditions among the elderly if adequate nursing care is provided. All nursing home clinical staff should have identification, assessment, prevention, care, and documentation of pressure ulcers identified as part of their job duties. When preventative measures such as these, as well as properly identifying the resident’s health conditions, is implemented early, nursing home staff involvement can help prevent the development of pressure ulcers.