Evidence-based prevention of pressure ulcers in the intensive care unit

Crit Care Nurse. 2013 Dec;33(6):57-66. doi: 10.4037/ccn2013985.


The development of stage III or IV pressure ulcers is currently considered a never event. Critical care patients are at high risk for development of pressure ulcers because of the increased use of devices, hemodynamic instability, and the use of vasoactive medications. This article addresses risk factors, risk scales such as the Norden, Braden, Waterlow, and Jackson-Cubbin scales used to determine the risk of pressure ulcers in critical care patients, and prevention of device-related pressure ulcers in patients in the critical care unit.

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness
  • Equipment and Supplies / adverse effects
  • Evidence-Based Nursing
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors