Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers: a comparison of costs in medical vs. surgical patients.
The estimated costs associated with the estimated 1 to 1.7 million annual pressure ulcers is between $5 billion and $8.5 billion. Studies indicate that LOS increased between two and five times the typical LOS for patients who develop pressure ulcers in the hospital. Hip fracture patients who develop pressure ulcers had twice the average LOS as those who did not, representing an incremental cost of $12,186 per patient. There were 34,000 patients admitted in 1992 with a primary diagnosis of pressure ulcers with an average 20.5 day LOS at an estimated cost of $24,575 per patient. Overall costs were estimated at $836 million. It can be projected that approximately 53,000 pressure ulcers will be found on the study day which means that about 2.5 to 2.6 million ulcers pass through an acute care setting at some point during a year. The overall costs of (largely preventable) hospital-acquired pressure ulcers is between $2.2 and $3.6 billion.