Clinical update

Pressure ulcers

About 700,000 people in the UK develop pressure ulcers every year.

Essential facts

About 700,000 people in the UK develop pressure ulcers every year. Previously known as pressure sores or bed sores, they are preventable in about 95% of cases, according to the NHS Stop the Pressure campaign. Each one costs an average of £4,000 to treat. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that these wounds can lead to life-threatening complications such as blood poisoning and gangrene.

Picture credit: SPL

Every patient admitted to a hospital or a care home with nursing staff should have a pressure ulcer risk assessment within six hours, according to a new quality standard from NICE.

The standard aims to reduce the number of people developing pressure ulcers in all settings, prevent lengthy hospital stays and improve patients’ quality of life. It states that people with a risk factor for pressure ulcer development who are

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