Hospital-acquired pressure injuries in critical and progressive care: Avoidable versus unavoidable

Joyce Pittman, Terrie Beeson, Jill Dillon, Ziyi Yang, Janet Cuddigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background Despite prevention strategies, hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) continue to occur, especially in critical care, raising the question whether some pressure injuries are unavoidable. Objectives To determine the proportion of HAPIs among patients in critical and progressive care units that are unavoidable, and to identify risk factors that differentiate avoidable from unavoidable HAPIs. Methods This study used a descriptive retrospective design. Data collected included demographic information, Braden Scale scores, clinical risk factors, and preventive interventions. The Pressure Ulcer Prevention Inventory was used to categorize HAPIs as avoidable or unavoidable. Results A total of 165 patients participated in the study. Sixty-seven HAPIs (41%) were unavoidable. Participants who had congestive heart failure (odds ratio [OR], 0.22; 95% CI, 0.06-0.76; P =.02), were chemically sedated (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.20-0.72; P =.003), had systolic blood pressure below 90 mm Hg (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.27-0.99; P =.047), and received at least 1 vasopressor (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23-0.86; P =.01) were less likely to have an unavoidable HAPI. Those with bowel management devices were more likely to have an unavoidable HAPI (OR, 2.19; 95% CI, 1.02-4.71; P =.04). When length of stay was incorporated into the regression model, for each 1-day increase in stay, the odds of an unavoidable pressure injury developing increased by 4% (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.002-1.08; P =.04). Participants who had a previous pressure injury were 5 times more likely to have an unavoidable HAPI (OR, 5.27; 95% CI, 1.20-23.15; P =.03). Conclusions Unavoidable HAPIs do occur; moreover, when preventive interventions are not documented and implemented appropriately, avoidable HAPIs occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-350
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


Dive into the research topics of 'Hospital-acquired pressure injuries in critical and progressive care: Avoidable versus unavoidable'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this