Care and Treatment and Staging of Pressure Ulcers
Care and Treatment and Staging of Pressure Ulcers

Information from the CDC on Pressure Ulcers and Staging

According to the CDC, in a study regarding pressure ulcers based on data from the National Nursing Home Survey, 2004, Pressure Ulcer – Definitions:

Pressure ulcers: Nursing home providers were asked the highest stage of any pressure ulcer the sampled resident currently had. This measure had five categories: no pressure ulcer, stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4.

Stage 1: A persistent area of skin redness (without a break in the skin) that does not  disappear when pressure is relieved.

Stage 2: A partial thickness is lost and may appear as an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater.

Stage 3: A full thickness of skin is lost, exposing the subcutaneous tissues―presents as a deep crater with or without undermining adjacent tissue.

Stage 4: A full thickness of skin and subcutaneous tissues are lost, exposing muscle or bone.

Recent Weight Loss: It is defined by a “yes” response to the following question: “Has the sampled nursing home resident had weight loss of 5% or more during the past 30 days or 10% or more during the past 180 days?”

High Immobility: It is measured using two measures, bed mobility (how resident moves to and from lying position, turns side to side, and positions body while in bed) and transfer (how resident moves between surfaces―to and from: bed, chair, wheelchair, and standing position). Each measure had five response categories: independent, supervision, limited assistance, extensive assistance, and total dependence. Residents were considered to have high immobility if they had a response of “extensive assistance” or “total dependence” for either or both bed mobility and transfer.

Recent Incontinence: It is measured using five categories: continent, usually continent (incontinent episodes less than weekly), occasionally incontinent (incontinent episodes once a week), frequently incontinent (incontinent 2 to 3 times a week), and total dependence (incontinent all or almost all of the time) in the last 14 days. Residents were considered to have incontinence if they were at least “usually incontinent” of the bladder or bowel.

Key Pressure Ulcers findings Data from the National Nursing Home Survey

In 2004, about 159,000 • current U.S. nursing home residents (11%) had pressure ulcers. Stage 2 pressure ulcers were the most common.

Residents aged 64 years • and under were more likely than older residents to have pressure ulcers.

Residents of nursing homes • for a year or less were more likely to have pressure ulcers than those with longer stays.

One in five nursing home • residents with a recent weight loss had pressure ulcers.

Thirty-five percent of • nursing home residents with stage 2 or higher (more severe) pressure ulcers received special wound care services in 2004.

For more information regarding pressure ulcers in nursing homes see: Pressure Ulcers Among Nursing Home Residents:United States, 2004.

This website is not intended to provide legal advice as each situation is different and specific factual information must be obtained before an attorney is able to assess the legal questions relevant to your situation.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility that serves the elderly in Minnesota please contact our firm for a free consultation and information regarding the obligations of the facility and your rights as a resident or concerned family member. To contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore, directly please send an email to, or call Ken at 612-743-9048.

Pressure Ulcers Definitions from the Center for Disease Control