Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004 Sep 15;61(18):1895-905; quiz 1906-7.

Management of pressure ulcers.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60612, USA.



Wound healing, the epidemiology and staging of pressure ulcers, and pressure ulcer prevention and treatment are discussed.


The principal event leading to the formation of pressure ulcers appears to be a consistent interruption in blood supply to the skin. Several known risk factors exist and can be attributed to patient-specific variables and wound-specific conditions. Initial management should include removal of the source of pressure, a comprehensive assessment of the patient, and proper staging of the ulcer. Preparation of the wound for treatment is essential and can have a significant impact on healing. While the patient's nutritional status is thought to affect wound healing, only an increased protein content in the diet has been demonstrated to have a benefit. Specialized wound dressings are available for pressure ulcers of all stages and drainage characteristics. With wide variation in cost and in application regimens, a direct cost-effectiveness comparison of commercially available dressing products is difficult. Many of the growth factors commonly present in healing wounds have been synthesized and evaluated as treatments. Although topical platelet-derived growth factor has demonstrated benefit in some studies, its use remains controversial. To date, no topical growth factors carry FDA-approved labeling for use in the treatment of pressure ulcers. Human skin equivalents mark the latest advancement in therapy. Certain species of bacteria have been associated with poorly healing ulcers and may warrant intervention with either local or systemic antibiotic therapy.


No pharmacologic intervention has been conclusively shown to be effective for pressure ulcers. The cornerstones of therapy remain elimination of the source of pressure or friction and appropriate wound care. usa.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk