A pressure injury, sometimes called a bedsore, is a wound in the skin or underlying tissue caused by pressure, friction and moisture. These injuries often occur when children have limited mobility and can't change positions in bed on their own.

When pressure injuries occur, they must be treated quickly or they can damage the skin and muscles, slow recovery, and cause pain, infection and other problems.

Why are hospital patients at risk for pressure injuries?

Children are at risk for pressure injuries when they can't move easily and have reduced circulation or fragile skin. Changes in cognitive or bowel and bladder function, along with insufficient intake of nutrients and liquids, can also contribute to the development of pressure injuries.

During hospitalization, a variety of tubes, drains and other health care equipment that can cause pressure injuries may be used.

What does UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco do to prevent hospital-acquired pressure injuries?

All patient care providers are trained in pressure injury prevention. Many techniques are used to prevent these injuries, such as providing good skin care, regularly helping patients change positions in bed, and using pressure-reducing cushions, mattresses and other devices.

How does the hospital measure hospital-acquired pressure injury rates?

We conduct quarterly pressure injury prevalence study days. On those days, every patient in the hospital is examined for evidence of a pressure injury. The number of pediatric patients with hospital-acquired pressure injuries is divided by the total number of patients examined on the study day to obtain the pressure injury prevalence rate.

UCSF submits prevalence data to the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes and the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators to determine how we compare with other hospitals in California and the nation.