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Over 500,000 Adults Suffer From Bed Sores In Hospitals

On the heels of the Nursing Homes Abuse Blog’s recent discussion regarding an increase in hospital-related pressure sore cases, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a report further confirming the problem.  Perhaps most the most startling finding from the agency’s report is that hospitalizations for bed sores (also called decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers, pressure sores) have increased by more than 80% from 1993 to 2006.  This increase includes people who were admitted to the hospital because of pressure sores or developed them while being treated for another condition in the hospital.iStock_000005322809XSmall-1

Among the more disturbing ‘highlights’ in the report are:

  • In 2006, there were 503,300 hospital stays with pressure ulcers noted as a diagnosis–an increase of nearly 80% since 1993.  The pressure ulcer stays totaled $11 billion in hospital costs.
  • More than 90% of the pressure ulcer-related hospitalizations were intended to be for medical conditions unrelated to pressure ulcer treatment.
  • Compared to stays for all other medical conditions, hospital stays related to pressure ulcers were more often discharged to and long-term care facility and more likely to result in death.
  • 72% of adults hospitalized with a secondary pressure sore diagnosis were 65 or older.  In comparison 56.5% of adult patients had a principal diagnosis of pressure ulcers were 65 or older.
  • Medicare was the biggest payer for hospital stays related to pressure ulcers- Medicare paid the bills for 3 out of 4 pressure ulcer stays.
  • Paralysis and spinal cord injury were common co-existing conditions among younger adults hospitalized principally for pressure ulcers.

Don’t let hospitals continue to provide inadequate treatment. Prevention of pressure sores needs to be a priority for hospitals.  If you or a family member developed a bed sore during a hospitalization, we can help.  Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has successfully prosecuted bed sore cases for more than 30 years.

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  • Jonathan Rosenfeld’s Nursing Homes Abuse Blog

    Reducing Decubitus Ulcers In Hospitals. How One Facility Managed To Reduce Hospital-Acquired Wounds By 63%

    Texas Arlington Memorial Hospital was recently recognized for implementing a systematic program to reduce the number of patients with hospital-acquired decubitus ulcers. The program resulted in a 63% reduction in pressure sores. This hospital accomplis…

  • Joette Farrand

    I would appreciate to know how much is the “Pressure Mapping System” being used in Nursing Facilities? This new technology would seems to identify where pressure points would be in order to prevent bed sores.
    Are there any Nursing Facilities using this technology?

  • I’ve yet to see any nursing facilities implement the use of pressure mapping systems into their care of patients. As with many medical advances, we usually see nursing homes at the tail end of the technology spectrum. Hopefully, facilities will understand the importance of bed sore prevention and that the implementation of technologies such as this can greatly improve the quality of life for patients.

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