Doctor washing hands
Prevent pressure ulcers and reduce costs
2019-10-03 Pressure Ulcer

A single pressure ulcer costs a day’s wage, every day

The directives say that healthcare should provide better care with fewer resources, which can be seen as opposites to each other. However, Care of Sweden’s updated health economical report shows that there is a lot of money to be saved, simply by purchasing the right type of mattress.

For many years, Care of Sweden has continuously updated the health economic report, produced in close collaboration with Nordic Health Economics.

– In the latest model we have broken down the figures and also looked at a hospital and clinic level. We have examined, among other things, the number of care units and how much an individual organization can save, says Annabelle Forsmark at Nordic Health Economics.

The results were astounding – it turned out that you could make incredible savings.


A mattress can drastically reduce costs

Up to 90 % of the cost of pressure ulcers can be calculated in working hours, where additional costs for dressings, substrates, and antibiotics are added on top. Several reports indicate a doubled time of care when pressure ulcers occur. Up to 60 days for a category 1 pressure ulcer and up to 170 days for a category 4 ulcer.

– A single pressure ulcer costs a typical day’s wage to treat, which makes pressure ulcers the second most expensive injury in Sweden, next to care-related infections, says Anne Lindeborg, Education- and Clinical manager at Care of Sweden.

Thus, there are massive potential savings to be made just by purchasing a single mattress, getting increasingly higher with every additional purchase.                                                                                                                                  Download the health Economics Guide                                                                                                                          


From 40 to 10 pressure ulcers

A project that was carried out for 6 months at the Central Hospital in Kristianstad showed that the incidence of pressure ulcers decreased radically when existing mattresses were replaced with newer mattresses. At the same time, the hospital’s savings measures increased significantly.

The difference in occurring pressure ulcers in the hospital between a period 2016 and a period 2017 turned out to be almost 50 %. A broader survey running from 2016 to 2018 also showed a significant change from 40 to 10 pressure ulcers.

– Once a patient is struck with pressure ulcers, one must act quickly and with high costs that follow. If you can show that you are making a profit on preventative work, things are shown in a new light, says Anne Lindeborg.