High cost of stage IV pressure ulcers

Harold Brem, Jason Maggi, David Nierman, Linda Rolnitzky, David Bell, Robert Rennert, Michael Golinko, Alan Yan, Courtney Lyder, Bruce Vladeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this study was to calculate and analyze the cost of treatment for stage IV pressure ulcers. Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of patients with stage IV pressure ulcers was conducted. Hospital records and treatment outcomes of these patients were followed up for a maximum of 29 months and analyzed. Costs directly related to the treatment of pressure ulcers and their associated complications were calculated. Results: Nineteen patients with stage IV pressure ulcers (11 hospital-acquired and 8 community-acquired) were identified and their charts were reviewed. The average hospital treatment cost associated with stage IV pressure ulcers and related complications was $129,248 for hospital-acquired ulcers during 1 admission, and $124,327 for community-acquired ulcers over an average of 4 admissions. Conclusions: The costs incurred from stage IV pressure ulcers are much greater than previously estimated. Halting the progression of early stage pressure ulcers has the potential to eradicate enormous pain and suffering, save thousands of lives, and reduce health care expenditures by millions of dollars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-477
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Cost
  • Pressure ulcer
  • Stage IV

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