Bedsores Statistics

There are a variety of statistics regarding the frequency of bedsores.

Some of these statistics differ as the underlying data was collected at different times, and/or the methodologies employed in the data collection differ.

However, regardless of what study is analyzed, bedsores (also called pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and decubitus ulcers) are seen to occur at worrisome rates, especially in nursing homes and similar health care facilities.  This bedsore problem is seen in the Chicago area as well as nationally.

A recent article seen in the Chicago Tribune, that of May 14, 2014, titled “Left untreated, bedsores can be lethal,” contains various commentary and statistics regarding bedsores and the frequency of their formation.  

Two excerpts:

Pressure ulcers, commonly called bedsores, are a big problem in the United States. More than 2.5 million Americans develop pressure ulcers every year, with about 60,000 people dying each year from pressure ulcer complications.


The Journal of the American Geriatric Society estimates that an average 4-to-5 percent of patients develop pressure ulcers during a hospital stay, and the number is higher in long-term care facilities: 23 percent.

An older data brief from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) also contains a variety of statistics and commentary regarding bedsores.  As seen in the NCHS February 2009 Data Brief, titled “Pressure Ulcers Among Nursing Home Residents:  United States, 2004” :

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

This NCHS Data Brief also contains various other statistics concerning bedsores and other information, including a description of bedsores; reasons for bedsore formation; classification of bedsores by severity; and characteristics of those who get bedsores.