Decubitus Ulcers in Hospitals

Decubitus ulcers form in elderly hospital patients when they are neglected for days at a time. This is a major problem in American hospitals. This article analyzes a recent government study into the real costs that pressure sores have on our health system. Bedsores are more than just hazardous to the patient’s health, they also lead to decubitus ulcer lawsuits, costly government investigations and further wound care expense.

Check out these alarming hospital bedsore statistics:

Did you know?

Number affected by Pressure Sores in Hospitals: 2.5 million patients per year.

Cost: Pressure ulcers cost $9.1–$11.6 billion per year in the US. Cost of individual patient care ranges from $20,900 to 151,700 per pressure ulcer. Medicare estimated in 2007 that each pressure ulcer added $43,180 in costs to a hospital stay.

Lawsuits: More than 17,000 lawsuits are related to pressure ulcers annually. It is the second most common claim after wrongful death and greater than falls or emotional distress.

Pain: Pressure ulcers may be associated with severe pain.

Death: About 60,000 patients die as a direct result of a pressure ulcer each year.

Links to the source of these facts are included in the resources section on the next page.

  •   In 2006, there were 503,300 total hospital stays with pressure ulcers noted as a diagnosis—an increase of nearly 80 percent since 1993. Adult stays totaled $11 billion in hospital costs.
  •  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.

Check out the article here. 

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