Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers, are wounds caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin. They usually develop over bony prominences, such as the elbow, heel, hip, shoulder, back, and back of the head. Pressure ulcers are serious medical conditions and one of the important measures of the quality of clinical care in nursing homes.
From about 2% to 28% of nursing home residents have pressure ulcers. The most common system for staging pressure ulcers classifies them based on the depth of soft tissue damage, ranging from the least severe to the most severe. Clinical practice guidelines for pressure ulcers have been developed and provide specific treatment recommendations for stage or higher pressure ulcers, including proper wound care.