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Adv Wound Care. 1996 Nov-Dec;9(6):18-22.

The cost of healing pressure ulcers across multiple health care settings.

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John Deere Health Care, Moline, Ill, USA.


The reported costs of treating pressure ulcers have varied widely from study to study. Previous studies have focused on single health care settings and computed only the costs occurring while the patient was a resident in that facility. The purpose of this study was to assess the cost of managing pressure ulcers from their initial occurrence in long-term care through their natural history, including hospital treatment of complications. The 30 patients in this year-long study developed 45 ulcers. The mean length of treatment for an ulcer was 116 days (SD = 127). The mean cost of treatment, including long-term care and hospital costs, was $2,731 per ulcer (SD = 12,184); excluding hospital costs, the mean cost of treatment was $489 per ulcer (SD = 629). The mean cost of treatment per patient was $4,647 (SD = 15,102); excluding hospital costs, the mean treatment cost was $1,284 per patient (SD = 1,380). Eighty percent of the total cost of pressure ulcer treatment was generated by the 4% of patients who required hospitalization for their pressure ulcers. In the absence of complications, pressure ulcers can be treated successfully and cost-effectively in long-term care.

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