Prevention and care of the patient with pressure ulcers


A pressure ulcer, previously called a bed sore or decubitus ulcer, is a localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure or pressure in combination with shear and/or friction. Pressure ulcers are painful, costly, and often preventable complications that threaten many individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and home care. Pressure ulcers can increase nursing time up to 50% and are very costly in time and resources. Every year, pressure ulcers affect more than one million acute care and nursing home patients. Most pressure ulcers are preventable. Preventing pressure ulcers entails to two major steps: first, identifying patients at risk; and second, reliably implementing prevention strategies for all patients who are identified as being at risk.

This continuing education activity will provide health care workers with an overview of the etiology of pressure ulcers, including an examination of patient risk factors and pressure ulcer staging classifications. Preventive strategies will be presented, including a review of the various types of support surfaces that help prevent the occurrences of pressure ulcers and help to ensure positive patient outcomes. Guidelines for treatments of pressure ulcers also will be described.



Upon completion of this continuing education activity, the participant should be able to:

  1. Describe the causes of pressure ulcers.
  2. List risk factors that increase a patient’s susceptibility to develop pressure ulcers.
  3. Identify the stages of pressure ulcer classification.
  4. Discuss interventions to prevent pressure ulcers in at-risk patients.
  5. Describe pressure ulcer treatments.


Intended audience

This continuing education activity is intended for healthcare professionals who are interested in learning about prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers in the long-term care environment.

Content shown provided by Pfiedler Enterprises. Full references are available within the CE program, accessible via the link above.