What is the mortality rate for pressure injuries (pressure ulcers)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Christian N Kirman, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Pressure injuries are listed as the direct cause of death in 7-8% of all patients with paraplegia. [53, 41] As many as one third of hospitalized patients with pressure injuries die during their hospitalization. More than half of those who develop a pressure injury in the hospital will die within the next 12 months. As a rule, these patients die of their primary disease process rather than of pressure ulceration, but the pressure injury may be a contributing factor in some instances.

Each year, approximately 60,000 people die of complications of pressure injuries. [54] Individuals with pressure ulcers have a 4.5-times greater risk of death than persons with the same risk factors but without pressure injuries. [8] A secondary complication, wound-related bacteremia, can increase the risk of mortality to 55%. [54, 55, 56, 57]

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