What is a pressure ulcer? Pressure ulcers are areas of skin and tissue that have broken down and become injured. Also called pressure sores, bedsores, or decubitus (dee-cube-it-us) ulcers, they are usually caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long, such as being in a hospital bed. That puts pressure on certain areas of the body. The pressure reduces the blood supply to the skin and the tissues under the skin. When a change in position doesn't occur often enough and the blood supply gets too low, a sore may form.
It is important to assess and identify patients at risk for developing hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) prolong the hospital stay, exposing patients to the risks of an extended hospitalization, and may contribute to complications and patient discomfort.