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  1. Langemo, Diane K. RN, PhD
  2. Anderson, Julie RN, PhD
  3. Volden, Cecilia RN, MS


Researchers compare state-specific pressure ulcer incidence, staff mix, and nursing care hours to American Nurses Association care quality outcomes data. [Nurs Manage 2003:34(10):54-57]


The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) classifies pressure ulcers as lesions caused by unrelieved pressure that results in damage to underlying tissue. 1 Pressure ulcers present significant problems for patients who develop them, including physical, psychological, and financial consequences. Those at increased risk include seriously ill individuals and those with impaired mobility.


As the US population ages and more elders become residents of inpatient settings, the likelihood of pressure ulcer development increases. In fact, the elderly incur approximately 70% of all pressure ulcers. 2 Research indicates that many pressure ulcers develop while the individual is in the hospital, with annual health care costs in the billions of dollars. 3 Additional research uncovers a pressure ulcer prevalence rate of 10.1% to 15% in acute care; preventive strategies result in a 34% to 50% decrease in hospital-acquired ulcers. 4,5