Pressure ulcers – Prevention and treatment

Prevention is more cost-effective than ever

Pressure ulcers – the most frequent type of expensive, avoidable side-effect of care – have been estimated to cost a facility USD 10,288 per occurrence. The total cost of managing a Medicare patient with a pressure ulcer in acute care averages USD 43,180.00 per hospital stay1 and many healthcare facilities will no longer cover the cost of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU2).

Adding a dressing to your prevention program may help you to reduce your HAPU costs by helping them stop before they start.

Recommended products: Mepilex® Border Sacrum, Mepilex® Border HeelMepilex® Border and Mepilex®.

The importance of a comprehensive prevention programme

Your pressure ulcer prevention protocol is already robust and includes key elements...

The problem

HAPU occur most commonly in the ICU (12 to 42 percent)3, with the rate of interoperatively acquired HAPU ranging from 12 to 66 percent in surgical patients....

Dressings for prevention

Mepilex® Border Sacrum can add to your HAPU prevention program by redistributing shear forces....

The power of four

When compared with no dressing and competitors’ products...

Clinically proven to reduce pressure ulcers

C. Tod Brindle1 demonstrated that Mepilex® Border Sacrum can reduce......

The importance of a comprehensive pressure ulcer prevention program

Your pressure ulcer prevention protocol is already robust and includes key elements, such as risk assessment, regular positioning, selecting appropriate pressure redistribution and support surfaces, but an emerging strategy is to add to this program utilizing protective dressing, such as Mepilex Border as part of the prevention program.

Read more in the consensus statement Global evidence based practice recommendations for the use of wound dressings to augment pressure ulcer prevention protocol, August 2012 (208 kB pdf, opens in a new window). The consensus group consisted of Joyce Black, Michael Clark, Paulo Alves, Tod Brindle, Evan Call, Carol Dealey and Nick Santamaria.

Application tools

Heel pressure ulcer prevention guide (191 kB pdf, opens in a new window)

Sacral pressure ulcer prevention guide (232 kB pdf, opens in a new window)

Mepilex Border Sacrum application guide (268 kB pdf, opens in a new window)

Pressure ulcers

A pressure ulcer may be defined as a "localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure or pressure in combination with shear. A number of contributing or confounding factors are also associated with pressure ulcers; the significance of these factors has yet to be elucidated1".

Prevalence and incidence are well reported in the literature and vary according to care speciality; for example, it is often reported to be higher in specific specialities, such as critical care or elderly care, with the sacrum and heel the most commonly affected body locations.

Apart from causing pain and distress for your patient, pressure ulcers also place a major burden on healthcare systems worldwide, through increased needs for nursing time, hospitalization, consumables and pharmaceuticals. For example within the high-risk population of acute hospitals, more than 71,000 patients could be expected to develop a PU annually costing AUD 77,800,000 (GBP 43,000,000) in Australia. Whereas by implementing a national PU prevention initiative based on the use of prophylactic multilayer silicone foam dressings for high-risk patients, an annual savings of AUD 34,800,000 (GBP 19,700,000) could be achieved, which represents a cost benefit of 55 percent to the Australian healthcare system.2

Paying close attention to the actual challenges for healthcare professionals, we have implemented a comprehensive therapeutic approach to pressure ulcer prevention – ranging from listening to healthcare professionals and starting discussions and introducing education opportunities, to performing research and developing state-of-the-art products. Mepilex Border is one of the products that is widely used to treat and prevent pressure ulcers today.


  1. Walsh, N. et al. Pressure Ulcer Prevention of Stage 2 and Deep Tissue Injury in Critical Care: A Pilot Study. Poster presentation at the WOCN Congress, 2011.
  2. Padula, W. et al. Improving the Quality of Pressure Ulcer Care With Prevention, A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Medical Care 2011; 49(4).
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