Pressure Injuries, Their Classifications, And Their Significance

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) has been mentioned on this site for their research and classifications regarding pressure ulcers.  Recently, they have changed some terminology with regarding to pressure ulcers, and made changes to their “Stages” of pressure ulcers, largely based upon the degree of soft tissue damage.

The changes are discussed in the April 13, 2016 press release titled “National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) announces a change in terminology from pressure ulcer to pressure injury and updates the stages of pressure injury.”  An excerpt from the release:

The term “pressure injury” replaces “pressure ulcer” in the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel Pressure Injury Staging Systemaccording to the NPUAP. The change in terminology more accurately describes pressure injuries to both intact and ulcerated skin. In the previous staging system Stage 1 and Deep Tissue Injury described injured intact skin, while the other stages described open ulcers. This led to confusion because the definitions for each of the stages referred to the injuries as “pressure ulcers”.

The definition of “pressure injury” is the following:

A pressure injury is localized damage to the skin and/or underlying soft tissue usually over a bony prominence or related to a medical or other device. The injury can present as intact skin or an open ulcer and may be painful. The injury occurs as a result of intense and/or prolonged pressure or pressure in combination with shear. The tolerance of soft tissue for pressure and shear may also be affected by microclimate, nutrition, perfusion, co-morbidities and condition of the soft tissue.

Newly-revised definitions of various Pressure Injury stages are also described in the press release.  There are four stages, as well as four additional definitions, including one for “Deep Tissue Pressure Injury.”

Illustrations of these Pressure Injury Stages and other definitions can be seen on the “Pressure Injury Staging Illustrations” page.

As often discussed on this site, the existence of pressure injuries can be problematical for many reasons.  As seen in various discussions, statistics, and wrongful death lawsuits, pressure injuries can cause both direct and indirect adverse health conditions.  If such injuries do not receive immediate and proper medical treatment, a further deterioration of health can occur, and such a decline in health can lead to potentially life-threatening and fatal conditions.


Should someone you care for experience Illinois nursing home abuse or neglect or a nursing home accident – or suffer an injury at a similar health care facility such as an assisted living facility, retirement home, skilled nursing facility (SNF) or hospital – please contact the nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at the Elman Joseph Law Group at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the situation and to discuss the potential of an injury lawsuit.  This no-obligation legal consultation is free and confidential.  Elman Joseph Law Group handles cases on a contingency basis…no fees are charged unless and until monetary compensation is achieved.    

Elman Joseph Law Group’s Lead Attorney, Tony Elman, is a personal injury trial lawyer.  Over the last 25+ years Elman Joseph Law Group has handled over 10,000 Illinois personal injury lawsuits.

During this 25+ year period, Elman Joseph Law Group has built a reputation for its courtroom trial performance, including getting large verdicts for smaller cases.

To speak directly to Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, call (773) 392-8182 at any time.  This legal consultation is free and confidential.  

Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC handles Chicago area and other Illinois personal injury lawsuits as well as wrongful death lawsuits.