Pressure ulcers and prognosis: candid conversations about healing and death

Geriatrics. 2008 Nov;63(11):6-9.


Patients face the unwelcome diagnosis of pressure ulcers in hospitals and nursing homes around the world. Health care providers impart advice not only about treatment but also about prognosis and expectations. Accurate and informative prognosis at the initial consultation provides a framework for realistic patient expectations about wound healing and potential mortality. Many factors contribute to the prognosis in this multi-component equation. These factors include advancing age, the size and stage of the pressure ulcer, the current nutritional situation, and the chronic disease burden the patient suffers. Patients with pressure ulcers are often frail, resulting in 6-month mortality rates that are often high in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Health Services for the Aged / standards
  • Humans
  • Pressure Ulcer / mortality*
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control