A pressure ulcer is a wound unlike any other, in that its cause is not surgery or trauma but death of the skin and underlying tissues from ischemia due to unrelieved pressure. There are many factors that contribute to the development of a pressure ulcer and whether or not it will heal, but the biggest factor in all of these is pressure. Common terms for a pressure ulcer include bedsore, decubitus ulcer, pressure sore, and pressure ulcer. The terms bedsore and decubitus ulcer originated from the notion that to develop ulcers a person needed to be bedridden, which we now know is not the case. Ulcers can develop when a patient constantly maintains any position; consequently the term pressure ulcer most accurately describes an ulcer from…show more content… The impact of pressure ulcers is staggering.
• First and foremost, these wounds are very painful, thus causing patients a great deal of suffering.
• The anatomical location of the ulcer may result in a loss of dignity.
• Quality of life is affected, as the patient must alter activities to help heal the wound and may face long-term hospitalization.
• A non healing ulcer is at high risk for infection, which can be life threatening.
• Ulcer treatments may require surgical procedures such as debridement, colostomies, and amputations, which the patient would otherwise not have to face.
• An ulcer that heals forms scar tissue, which lacks the strength of the original tissue and is more easily ulcerated again and again.
• Most importantly, the presence of a pressure ulcer increases the risk of death. Nearly 60,000 hospital patients in the United States are estimated to die each year from complications due to hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (IHI, 2007). Likewise, actor Christopher Reeve, who had been a quadriplegic for the last nine years of his life, died from complications due to an infected pressure