AHRQ reports increased incidence of pressure ulcers

Information from the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows that the incidence of pressure ulcers among hospital patients increased steadily by 80% between 1993 and 2006. Published in its report Hospitalizations Related to Pressure Ulcers among Adults 18 Years and Older, 2006, AHRQ analyzed more than 503,000 patients whose hospitalizations were pressure ulcer-related.


Findings included:

•· More than 90 percent of pressure ulcer-related stays among adults were for the principal treatment of other conditions, such as septicemia, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection.

•· Compared to stays for all other conditions, stays related to pressure ulcers were more often discharged to a long-term care facility and more likely to result in death.

•· Nearly three out of four adult patients hospitalized with a secondary pressure ulcer diagnosis (72 percent) were 65 years and older. In contrast, 56.5 percent of adult patients with a principal diagnosis of pressures ulcers were 65 or older.

•· Billed for three out of four hospitalizations, Medicare was the most common payer of adult stays related to pressure ulcers.

•· Paralysis and spinal cord injury were common co-existing conditions among younger adults hospitalized principally for pressure ulcers, while fluid and electrolyte disorders, nutritional disorders, diabetes without complications, and dementia were more often seen among patients 65 and older.


To read the report, click here.


(SOURCE: HCPro Patient Safety Monitor, http://hcpro.com, December 10, 2008)