Fourth national pressure ulcer prevalence survey

Adv Wound Care. 1997 Jul-Aug;10(4):18-26.


The fourth national pressure ulcer prevalence survey was conducted on November 9, 1995, with stuff at 265 acute-care hospitals surveying 39,874 patients for the presence of pressure ulcers. Data were collected on patient demographics, ulcer site, ulcer stage, and support surface. The goal was to determine the aggregate prevalence of pressure ulcers and to compare the results to those of the previous three surveys. The overall prevalence was 10.1% (range 1.4% to 36.4%), with the sacrum and heels the most common pressure ulcer sites. The predominant age group of patients with pressure ulcers was 71 to 80 years. Seventy-four percent of pressure ulcers were superficial (i.e., Stages I and II). The national pressure ulcer prevalence has remained relatively constant throughout the four surveys, despite the many changes in health care over the past 7 years.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Beds
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology