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Average Cost and Hospital Length of Stay for Pressure Ulcers (pdf)

Average estimated cost of a hospital stay primarily for pressure ulcers was $16,800 in 2006. With medical inflation (only), the estimated cost would be about $27,508; charges would be higher (perhaps as much as 4 times higher). Pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers (commonly called bed sores) rose nearly 80% between 1993 and 2006, according to the AHRQ government agency. Pressure sores were often associated with paralysis, spinal cord injury, dementia, diabetes. Over 4.2% of patients admitted for the pressure ulcers died in the hospital. Most pressure ulcer cases however had some Other main reason for being admitted – such as septicemia, pneumonia, or urinary tract infections; 11.6% of these patients died in hospital; average est. cost was over $20,000; over half were discharged to a long-term care facility. Average length of stay was 12.7 to 14.1 days, compared to 5 days for other types of adult admissions. Statistical Brief #64 published December 2008. Caution: publication is quite old, and has not been updated by AHRQ.

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