Bedsores (AHRQ)

A bedsore, otherwise known as a pressure ulcer or decubitus ulcer, is an area of skin injury or breakdown that can occur when people lie in one position for an extended period of time – as little as a few hours - without shifting positions. These wounds are not only uncomfortable, but they can also become infected, leading to further complications. If identified early, many decubitus ulcers can be successfully treated to avoid complication.

Not all pressure ulcers can be prevented, but many can, so it’s important for hospital staff to make sure that bedridden patients are moved or turned regularly and that early development of bedsores is treated promptly. While some patients have higher risks than others, some of these complications may be preventable.

About this measure

This measure tracks the number of patients who acquired decubitus ulcers when in the hospital for five days or more out of every 1000 patients hospitalized for five days or more. It excludes paralyzed patients, pregnant patients, some patients with skin and tissue disorders, and patients who were admitted or transferred from long-term care facilities.

Note: In this case, a lower number is better.  

Most Recent Available Data (Rate per 1000)
  2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 0
National Average 0.4
Performance Trend (Rate per 1000)
  2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2012 Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2013 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 1.6 1.7 1.3 1.7 0.4 0.4 1.3 0
National Average 5.18 5.18 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.4
Source:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,
Decubitus ulcer