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 develop 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 function or bowel and bladder function, along with insufficient intake of nutrients and liquids, can also contribute. In addition, care during hospitalization may require the use of tubes, drains and other health care equipment that can cause pressure injuries.

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 study days to assess pressure injury prevalence. On those days, every patient in the hospital is examined for evidence of a pressure injury. The number of 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 National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators to determine how we compare with other hospitals in California and the nation.